Climate change has a clear impact on our health. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that “evidence is growing that climate change already contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths” and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also increased its focus on tackling the health impacts of climate change.
Failed action to mitigate global warming will lead to new challenges posed by extreme weather events and warmer temperatures. A warmer climate will increase the risks of infectious diseases, respiratory disease and immune-system disorders. In some cases, very extreme weather events can also increase rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. This broad new set of implications will lead to an increase in health care costs.
Protecting the climate through greener policies and stronger emissions reduction will thus also strongly benefit citizens' health.