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The imperative of climate action to protect human health in Europe


The report focuses on the consequences of climate change for human health in Europe and the benefits of acting now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to stabilise the climate.

Evidence shows that health risks will increase as climate change intensifies through a range of pathways including:

  • Increased exposure to high temperatures and extreme events such as floods and droughts, air pollution and allergens;
  • Increased incidence and changing distribution of some infectious diseases (including mosquito-borne, food-borne and water-borne diseases);
  • Weakening of food and nutrition security;
  • Growing risk of forced migration.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, health gains made in recent decades will be undermined. The economic benefits of action to address the current and future health effects of climate change are likely to be significant.

Climate change is adversely affecting human health, and health risks are projected to increase. Solutions are within reach and much can be done by acting on present knowledge, but this requires political will.

The report was produced under the auspices of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC).

Reference information

EASAC – the European Academies' Science Advisory Council

Published in Climate-ADAPT Jun 21 2019   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Mar 04 2020

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