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Climate change and health

The current trends in climatic change will impact human populations and have the potential to become a significant threat to public health. Individuals and communities will need to adapt to these changed environmental circumstances to avoid adverse consequences.

The World Health Organisation has acknowledged that populations face risks to health from climate change.  These risks include heat stress, waterborne, food borne and vector borne diseases, respiratory diseases due to air pollution, and psychosocial concerns from the displacement of people. There is also the potential for indirect effects on health associated with changes to water supplies and food production.

children trying to salvage their home after a flood

The Centre participates in climate change and health activities through:

  • Development and promotion of the use of an HIA/EHIA framework in public health adaptation to climate change risks
  • Research to increase knowledge and understanding of the health impacts from climate change
  • Partnerships with institutions involved in responding to climate change
  • Membership in the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and the Human Health Management Committee
  • Development and implementation of training for vulnerability and adaptation assessments
  • Development and participation in research projects, consultancies and visiting WHO Fellowships relevant to climate change and health

Recent Publications:

For a list of recent Climate Change and Health publications by Centre staff please see: Climate Change and Health Publications.

Recent Projects:

  • Scoping study on the health impacts of climate change in Victoria including specific focus on heat stress. Department of Human Services, ARUP, ANU and Buchan Consultants.
  • HIA adaptation and mitigation of climate change: food security and health. Little M.
  • Adaptation to the health impacts of climate change in the urban area of Perth. Brown H.