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WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe)


The World Health Organization (WHO) is the authority responsible for public health within the United Nations system. The WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) is one of WHO’s six regional offices around the world.

It serves the WHO European Region, which comprises 53 countries, covering a vast geographical region from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. WHO/Europe collaborates with a range of public health stakeholders in the Region and globally, to ensure that coordinated action is taken to develop and implement efficient health policies and to strengthen health systems. Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge has been at WHO/Europe’s helm since 1 February 2020, as WHO Regional Director for Europe.

WHO/Europe is made up of public health, scientific and technical experts, who are based in the main office in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 4 outposted centres and in country offices in 29 Member States.

Key activities within climate change and health

The WHO Regional Office for Europe works to identify policy options to help prevent, prepare for and respond to the health effects of climate change. Our activities include:

  • Assessing climate health risks;
  • Advising Member States in the development and implementation of evidence-based policies and measures that integrate health in national mitigation policies and adaptation strategies;
  • Promoting policies and measures in all sectors that benefit both human health and the climate system;
  • Identifying the health gains and other co-benefits resulting from mitigation and adaptation measures;
  • Addressing building climate-resilient health system, and supports strengthening of health surveillance, early warning, and preparedness;
  • Developing evidence-based guidance on effective interventions in addressing extreme weather events associated with climate change, including for the development of heat health action plans and flood preparedness and response plans for the health sector;
  • Providing technical support ahead of and during emergencies induced by extreme weather events (i.e. heat, cold and floods).

WHO’s work on climate change and health is in alignment with and supports implementation of a range of global and regional policy commitments, including the 2008 World Health Assembly resolution 61.19 on climate change and health, the 2019 WHO Global Strategy on Health, Environment and Climate Change, the 2017 Declaration of the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health and the European Programme of Work 2020-2025 “United action for better health in Europe" that sets out a vision of how the WHO Regional Office for Europe can support countries’ health authorities towards meeting citizens' expectations to be able to secure a better life and well-being. The WHO Regional Office for Europe provides secretariat functions to the Working Group on Health in Climate Change (HIC), established under the European Environment and Health Task Force. HIC supports countries of the WHO European Region with implementation of their commitments towards protecting health from the adverse effects of climate change and facilitates dialogue and cooperation among countries and stakeholders.

© World Health Organization 2021

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Published in Climate-ADAPT Jun 07 2016   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Sep 10 2022

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