Experts devise action plan to examine impact of climate change on health

Experts at a meeting convened by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today agreed on a plan of action to create guidelines on the impact of climate change on human health. Over 80 top researchers from around the world met in a three-day event in Madrid, Spain, that wrapped up today, and their new plan builds on what is already known about the health risks stemming from global warming. WHO’s 193 Member States asked the agency to strengthen the evidence base for policy action to be taken on the issue. “This plan provides the framework for doing just that,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. The amount of scientific research into the links between climate change and health lag far behind studies on such issues as air pollution and smoking. The new plan announced today identifies five priority research areas: the interaction of climate change with other factors including economic development and urbanization; the impact of long-term changes such as increasing drought; comparing the effectiveness of short-term responses; the implications of mitigation and adaptation policies on non-health sectors; and boosting public health systems’ ability to address climate change-related risks. 8 October 2008Experts at a meeting convened by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today agreed on a plan of action to create guidelines on the impact of climate change on human health.

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