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sources of oil (EASAC 2016) and provided continuing analysis of trends in extreme weather events (Norwegian Meteorological Institute in cooperation with EASAC 2013; EASAC 2018b). Previous work by the EASAC Biosciences Programme on climate change and infectious disease (EASAC 2010) and on food and nutrition security (EASAC 2017b) will be discussed subsequently. Why are we now publishing this new report? The issues are urgent and we aim to highlight how to respond to, and prepare for, climate change from the health perspective, taking account of the growing evidence base to guide decisions and support the implementation of appropriate interventions. Effective policy-making requires better understanding of the acute and chronic health effects, what drives them and what mediates them. The report will also indicate where knowledge gaps need to be filled to generate a robust evidence base. It is not our purpose to duplicate analysis of the rapidly accumulating evidence base that is covered so well in other work (for example, those sources cited in Appendix 2) but we provide links to those detailed assessments, to systematic reviews, and to more recent publications to highlight key points for policy-makers and other stakeholders in the EU. Our objectives are the following:

Support efforts to improve public engagement— including follow-up by the member academies of EASAC to use this report as a resource to engage with civil society.

The issues are of global concern and we hope that the present report will also serve as a resource to inform other inquiry globally, and provide a basis to support EU involvement in discussions between policy-makers and the academies of science worldwide. EASAC messages are directed to the following groups: •

Those who make or influence policy in the European Commission (including the DGs Health and Food Safety, Clima, Environment, Research and Innovation, and Employment and Social Affairs), European Parliament and Council of Ministers.

Those who make or influence policy at the EU Member State level.

Other opinion leaders at the European regional level, for example WHO Europe.

Inter-governmental and other bodies operating at the global level, particularly those involved with progressing SDGs.

Use the transdisciplinary strengths contained in the academies to review mechanisms and implications and evaluate policy tasks.

Extend the discussion on climate and health across Europe and generate greater understanding of the health effects resulting from climate change and the health co-benefits of decarbonisation—evidence for health effects can be persuasive in stimulating the decisive action that is necessary to reduce GHGs.

Member academies of EASAC, other academies of science and of medicine in the European region and worldwide. Others in the scientific community, including individual researchers and research funders.

Through our member academies, to the lay public and public health authorities.

Identify immediate opportunities for sharing good practice in sustainable frameworks relating to both adaptation and mitigation—clarifying where the primary responsibility lies at Member State level or should be an EU competence.

Provide advice to inform sustained, coherent and coordinated policy development and decisions across a broad front; this includes strengthening research and surveillance together with monitoring of implementation activities and their impact.


In the following chapters we emphasise transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral issues with particular reference to the scientific opportunities in Europe and the choice of policy options. This is an important time for informing and renewing strategic priorities to ensure that current and potential health effects of climate change are taken into account across a broad front of European Commission policy work (see discussion of current initiatives in Appendix 3) and we return to these priorities in Chapter 5 for urgent attention in the EU.

Climate change and health  |  June 2019  |  7

The imperative of climate action to protect human health in Europe  

Opportunities for adaptation to reduce the impacts and for mitigation to capitalise on the benefits of decarbonisation. The pace and extent...

The imperative of climate action to protect human health in Europe  

Opportunities for adaptation to reduce the impacts and for mitigation to capitalise on the benefits of decarbonisation. The pace and extent...