Taking action to protect health in Europe from climate change
Man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly from the burning of fossil fuels, are warming the earth. GHGs have increased by 70% over the last four decades, trapping more heat in the lower atmosphere. Globally, the largest increases in emissions have come from the energysupply sector. In the WHO European Region, transport-related emissions have played an equally large role; such emissions in the European Union (EU) are projected to increase by about 50%
between 2000 and 2030.
The global average surface temperature has increased by approximately 0.74 °C over the last 100 years. The projected increase for Europe between the ends of the 20th and 21st centuries varies from 2.3 °C to 6 °C, depending on the scenario. Populations in the Region are exposed to climate change directly through changing weather patterns and indirectly through changes in water, air, food quality and quantity, ecosystems, agriculture, livelihoods and infrastructure. These exposures profoundly influence health and well-being.