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Open letter to German health minister on health co-benefits of climate action

HEAL recently sent an open letter to the German Health Minister Hermann Groehe highlighting the opportunity for disease prevention from Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 which is currently in consultation between ministries.

With the support of two medical student organisations and 30 individuals from the health professionals and scientific communities, HEAL sent a letter of support on the German Climate Action Plan 2050. The plan, which has been drafted by the German ministry of the environment, involving a long consultation process with a large number of stakeholders, sets out targets, trajectories, strategies and measures to reach Germany’s climate target of 80 to 95 perecent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions until 2050.

Public health can benefit from the proposed actions as several environmental and behavioural risk factors will be touched by these. The reduction of fossil fuel use will improve air quality and thus reduce cardiopulmonary disease and mortality. More active means of transport such as walking and cycling will increase the rates of physical activity, while noise emissions from traffic can be reduced. This therefore generates huge benefits for cardiovascular health and several other positive health impacts. Climate friendly diets can reduce the burden of chronic diseases while the lower rates of meat consumption mean fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

The German version of this letter can be downloaded from here.

Further information on the Climate Action Plan 2050 can be found here.

HEAL’s briefing on climate mitigation as a strategy for disease prevention

Last updated on 13 July 2016

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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