Climate change and human health

Health in the climate change talks

Dr. Maria Neira, Director Public Health and Environment WHO, leading discussion on Climate and Health priorities at COP-15

Member States committed to act and requested WHO's support in formulating effective policy. WHO encourages health sector participation in the climate negotiations to advocate for four main policy objectives:

  • Besides environmental and economic damage, the ultimate impact of climate change represents a toll on our most precious resource - human lives and health.
  • Mitigation policies in energy, transport and agriculture sectors, if chosen appropriately can also bring significant immediate co-benefits for population health and wellbeing.
  • Addressing the impacts of climate change on population health will be the responsibility of the health sector. Investing now in health protection and adaptation can improve resilience to climate change impacts.
  • Health sector activities and infrastructure is energy intensive. Reducing the health sector environmental footprint can play a significant role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

WHO contributions to the climate change talks

WHO's ideas and proposals on paragraph 1 of the Bali Action Plan which would encourage protection of health from climate risks.

Next Submission: Under preparation for Climate Change Talks in Bonn (2-6 August 2010).

Related links

WHO at the Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings

  • WHO at COP-16
    Contact us at if you would like to meet a WHO representative at a COP preparation meeting.
  • WHO at COP-15