Under the banner of ‘Keeping healthy in a changing climate’, the European Commission and European Environment Agency (EEA) are launching the European Climate and Health Observatory this Thursday 4 March 2021 from 14:00-16:00 CET. As well as presenting the observatory’s goals and the tools it will use, the event will stimulate discussion on the connections between climate change and health. High-level speakers from the Commission and the EEA will be present for the launch, which will also feature an interactive panel discussion with experts from observatory partner organisations and user groups.
There are clear warnings that the climate crisis is also an impending health emergency. Climate change is already having an impact on people’s health and health systems, both directly and indirectly. More frequent and intense extreme weather events such as heatwaves, wildfires, floods and landslides, as well as food and water safety and security threats and the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, are all expected to generate serious health risks and amplify existing health problems.
To understand, anticipate and minimise the health threats caused by climate change, the European Commission and the European Environment Agency, together with other key players in the field, have set up the new European Climate and Health Observatory.
Based on a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach, it aims to co-create, connect, pool and provide the knowledge, expertise and tools required to tackle the health challenges related to climate change.
The new observatory is also the very first concrete deliverable of the new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change, which was published on 24 February 2021. It supports the EU Green Deal aspiration to ‘protect the health and wellbeing of citizens from environment-related risks and impacts’. It will help improve the preparedness of health systems and coordination of health crises, which are core elements of the Commission’s proposal for a European Health Union. The launch of the observatory also reflects recommendations made by the Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.