Climate change and health: developing evidence for action

Date/Time: 2021-09-15T13:00:00Z2021-09-15T14:30:00Z

Location: Online
Description: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm Environment Institute and Stockholm University are proud to present the Gordon Goodman Memorial Lecture, to be held by Professor Sir Andy Haines on 15 September 2021.

The lecture will focus on a crucial topic: the direct and indirect ways in which climate change impacts human health, and solutions that can yield multiple co-benefits for people and our environment.

Climate change will have far-reaching and potentially catastrophic effects on health, with the largest burden falling on the poor, who have contributed least to emissions. The effects of climate change on health may be direct: for example, from extreme heat. Effects can also be mediated through ecosystems, such as changes in the incidence and distribution of vector-borne diseases, including dengue and malaria, or through socio-economic pathways such as impoverishment and population displacement.

Declines in the production of vegetables, legumes and fruit could increase the risks of non-communicable diseases. Severe childhood stunting in Africa and South Asia will also likely increase markedly. Floods and droughts can have pervasive impacts and pre-existing illnesses such as HIV can increase vulnerability to conditions such as undernutrition as a result of droughts. Heat stress reduces the capacity for physical labour and will therefore diminish the income of already deprived populations.

Many policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions can yield near-term improvements in human health. Cutting fossil fuel combustion can reduce deaths from ambient air pollution and increased walking and cycling can reduce both air pollution and the incidence of diseases related to physical inactivity. Providing clean affordable energy can also reduce deaths from household air pollution. Reduced consumption of animal products in high-consuming populations, and increased consumption of fruit, vegetables and seeds, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve health. Valuing these co-benefits can make climate policies more attractive to decision makers and incentivize climate action.

- 15:00 Welcome and introduction
- 15:10 Climate change and health: developing evidence for action
Sir Andy Haines, Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health, Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

  • 15:40 Panel discussion and audience Q&A
  • 16:25 Concluding remarks
  • 16:30 End of the Gordon Goodman Memorial Lecture
  • 16:30-17:00 Closed media briefing with Sir Andy Haines. By invitation only.

Link: Climate change and health: developing evidence for action | SEI