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Press release: Health organisations call for climate action on IPCC WG2 report’s publication

Health and medical organisations from around the world are calling on governments today to respond to the major health risks described in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Second Working Group report on ‘Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation’, released this week.

As a member of the Global Climate and Health Alliance, HEAL has been involved in developing a briefing report available here which summaries the IPCC report’s implications for health now and in the future. The alliance brings together the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) , the Climate and Health Council, Health Care Without Harm, International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA), Climate and Health Alliance, fhi360, Sustainable Development Unit, C3 Collaborating for health and Ora Taiao NZ Climate and Health Council.

GCHA and its member organisations argue that there is still time to turn what has been called “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century” into one of our biggest opportunities to improve health, as there are many policies that will not only help to tackle climate change but also improve health.

This focus on health benefits from climate action not only emerges from this week’s IPCC report, it is also a message that HEAL has been promoting in our advocacy work in the EU for many years. It is also featured in a commentary on climate change and health in the renowned journal the Lancet.

Julia Huscher, HEAL’s coal and health officer says, “Human health is incredibly fragile in light of the threat that climate change poses, and especially when looking at the likely magnitude of changes. Mitigation efforts can have large health benefits – reducing the burning of fossil fuels and moving to cleaner energy sources can bring down the rates of important chronic diseases, especially cardiopulmonary diseases and diabetes. For the EU as a whole, the anticipated benefits of an ambitious set of climate and energy targets could be as high as €34.5 billion.’’

GCHA press release available here

Online resources including a short video, info-graphics and media coverage are available from the GCHA website here

Originally posted on 3 April 2014

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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