Health consequences of the climate crisis needs more focus in policy-making

(EurActiv, 16 Nov 2023) Despite an increase in EU policies on health and climate, there are calls to link the two even further as almost 25% of excess mortality in Europe can be traced back to the health impacts of fossil fuel burning with a new Lancet Countdown report underscores this need.

The report is the result of an international research collaboration that monitors the impacts of climate change on health. It includes 11 recommendations for a health-centred response to the climate crisis, which the authors argue are urgent, life-saving measures following years of insufficient action.

“There is a tremendous potential for health and climate co-benefits across many policy actions, which is currently not always reflected in EU frameworks,” Cristina Pricop, policy manager at the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), told Euractiv following the release of the report Lancet Countdown 2023, on Tuesday (14 November).

Its publication comes just weeks before the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which will dedicate the first day to health and hold a climate-health ministerial meeting- something the health community has been calling for.

At the presentation of the report on Wednesday (15 November), World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus warned of more severe extreme weather events, increased food insecurity, exacerbating respiratory diseases and fuelling the spread of infectious diseases.

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EurActiv, 16 Nov 2023: Health consequences of the climate crisis needs more focus in policy-making