Log in - Help - August 29, 2015
CHE logo The Collaborative on Health and the Environment
You are here:  Home » Working Groups » Climate Change Working Group
This site WWW

Climate Change and Health Working Group

Climate change could be the greatest global health threat of the 21st century, according to the Lancet, a leading international medical journal[1]. The World Health Organisation predicts that climate change, if not mitigated, will lead to significant increases in illness and deaths globally. The health impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world, with Natural Resources Defense Council estimating 150,000 US deaths in the top 40 US cities by 2011[2]. The good news is that increasing evidence suggests action on climate change can deliver significant and immediate benefits to human health and, consequently, healthcare budgets.

CHE’s Climate and Health Working Group aims to provide an international space for health professionals, scientists, health-affected  and community groups as well as government agencies to connect and share information on science, resources and events through a listserv and regular CHE Partnership calls on specific topics.   


The term “co-benefits” relates to the indirect consequences of greenhouse gas (GHG) controls[3]. These include

  • reduced air pollution, including sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter.
  • reduced traffic congestion.
  • reduced mercury pollution in water and fish.
  • reduced emergency hospital visits due to asthma, heart attacks and other conditions exacerbated by air pollution.
  • and others.

See also this article from the British Medical Journal for more information: How the low carbon economy can improve health.

The goal is to increase knowledge about evidence-based science of climate impacts and co-benefits and to foster public and policy dialogue through:

  • exchanging information on thelatest science/published literature on the health impacts of climate change and the co-benefits  to health of climate policies such as transport, energy, agriculture and urban policies
  • exploring the connections between climate and emerging issues, such as chemicals and socioeconomic inequalities 
  • sharing educational resources for public health, medical and health professionals on climate change-induced diseases
  • highlighting relevant policy forums that encourage the integration of health evidence and resources into climate discussions such as national public health programmes, the World Health Organisation and the UNFCCC

The working group is coordinated by Genon K. Jensen from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). Genon has been involved in work on climate change and health since 2006, serving on the WHO European Region Task Force on Climate Change and contributing to building up climate and health literacy and action in the health and medical community in Europe and internationally through HEAL’s work with other global partners.

To Join

If you are interested in joining this working group, please sign on as a CHE Partner, and indicate your interest in your application. If you are already a CHE Partner and would like to join the listserv for this group send an email request to: checlimate-subscribe@lists.healthandenvironment.org.

CHE Partners subscribed to the CHE Climate Change listserv can access the listserv archive to view messages previously distributed.

Resources and Information

[1]Managing the Health effects of Climate Change, May 13, 2009, http://www.thelancet.com/climate-change, viewed May 16, 2012.

[2]Natural Resources Defense Council. Killer Summer Heat, May 2012; available at http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/killer-heat/files/killer-summer-heat-report.pdf, viewed May 25, 2012.

[3] Holland MR. The co-benefits to health of a strong EU climate change policy. Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Climate Action Network (CAN) and WWF Europe, available at http://www.env-health.org/IMG/pdf/10-_The_co-benefits_to_health_of_a_strong_EU_climate_change_policy.pdf, viewed May 16, 2012.

Past Calls

January 8, 2015 --

CHE Partnership Call - The State of the Water: Linking Ocean Health to Human Health
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

December 2, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - The First Thousand Days: Chemical Exposure in Early Life and Beyond
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

November 4, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Fracking's Wide Health Impact: From the Ozone to Ground Water and All Those Living in Between, a Science Update
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

October 15, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Cold Feet: Perinatal DDT Exposure Increases Risk of Insulin Resistance
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

September 18, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Climate Change and Health: What's New and What To Do?
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

July 12, 2011 --

CHE Partnership Call - CHE Cafe call: The World Gets Hot(ter) with Mark Hertsgaard
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

February 10, 2011 --

CHE Partnership Call - Report from the Cancun Climate Change Talks: NGOs Promote Health and Partner for Future Action
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

November 16, 2007 --

Special CHE Partnership Call: Climate Change, Human Health and the Role of Health Care Professionals
Link to the audio and web recording of this call

February 8, 2007 --

CHE Partnership Call - Climate Change and Human Health
Background Information/Resources
Listen to the MP3 Recording
Call Blog


The Collaborative on Health and the Environment
c/o Commonweal, PO Box 316, Bolinas, CA 94924
For questions or comments about the website, email: info@healthandenvironment.org