This briefing explores the health impacts of climate change in Europe and suggests key opportunities for increased ambition with a focus on adaptation. The briefing highlights key health impacts from climate change including wildfires, heatwaves and extreme temperatures, the spread of infectious diseases and droughts. It outlines the opportunities to reduce climate-related health risks through adaptation policies in Europe.
The briefing considers the impacts and policy contexts, amoung other:
- European countries are increasingly affected by weather and climate extremes, which lead to fatalities and affect human health and well-being.
- Vulnerability to heat extremes continues to rise in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region, primarily due to a growing urban population, increasing incidence of underlying chronic conditions, and a growing number of people living to old age.
- Climate change impacts are addressed through key European Union (EU) strategies on adaptation and on health as well as through topic-specific policies.
- At the local administration level, adaptation to climate change remains in the domain of the spatial planning, urban design, or environmental departments.