Climate change poses increasing threats to human health through a range of pathways including the effects of extreme heat, wildfires, and floods, changes in infectious disease transmission and increases in undernutrition. Societies must adapt as far as possible to reduce the impacts of climate change on health but there will be limits to adaptation, particularly in low and middle income settings. Current mitigation efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are inadequate. Deep cuts in emissions are needed urgently to reach the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, ‘well under’ 2 degrees C increase in temperature, and preferably 1.5 degrees C. Many mitigation efforts through sectors such as energy, transport, the built environment and food and agriculture can improve health in the near term including through reduced air pollution, increased physical activity and healthier more sustainable diets. The health care sector is responsible for about 4-5% of GHG emissions and can play a leading role in accelerating progress towards a net zero emission, resilient society over coming decades.
Keynote speaker: Professor Sir Andy Haines
Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health | Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health | London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.