This news release was originally issued on the Future Earth website on 18 March 2019.
The Future Earth Health Knowledge-Action Network took a major role in the development of a global scoping process and summarization to identify key priority topics for this call, which was then further developed by the Group of Program Coordinators and the Belmont Forum. This Collaborative Research Action (CRA) serves for multilateral, inter- and transdisciplinary research projects that will investigate where significant uncertainties exist that are barriers to action; address complex climate, ecosystem and health pathways to determine processes underlying causal links; and foster the use of scientific information and climate-related decision support tools to better inform planning and enhance resilience.
Climate change is a serious threat to human health, as recently highlighted in the Summary for Policy Makers of the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5°C (IPCC SR1.5). This global alert follows UNFCCC’s conclusions in the 2015 Paris Agreement, WMO’s State of the Global Climate Report and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The WHO estimates that between 2030 and 2050 climate change is expected to cause an additional 250,000 deaths per year due to malaria, malnutrition, diarrhoea and heat stress. The direct damage costs to health are estimated at 2 to 4 billion USD per year by 2030, and areas with weak health infrastructures (mostly in developing countries) will be the least able to prepare and respond. Ambient temperature and extreme heat events are already on the rise, and increasing sea levels further exacerbate the health impacts of more frequent and intense weather events like hurricanes and cyclones. Under the UNFCCC process, work is currently underway to identify the risks and embed options for health adaptation in National Adaptation Plans to support health systems and decision-makers in other health-determining sectors to plan for, manage and adapt to health risks associated with climate variability and change (WHO 2015).
A total of 12 funders from 9 countries have committed up to €12.1m of cash plus in-kind resources for this call: Brazil (State of São Paulo), Finland, Côte d'Ivoire, Norway, Sweden, Chinese Taipei, Turkey, UK, and the United States.
Future Earth Secretariat will be convening a series of webinars to discuss this CRA. Please keep an eye out for the announcement of the timing of these webinars on the Future Earth website.