The Global Climate and Health Alliance

(15.11.2013) COP19: The road towards addressing the greatest global health threat

Warsaw 15/11/2013 - Health and medical organizations from around the world are convening in Warsaw this week to emphasize the urgent need to prioritize the protection and promotion of health within global and national policy responses to climate change.

The Global Climate and Health Summit 2013 will take place on 16 November 2013, during the UNFCCC's COP19 meetings in Poland, and is organized by the Global Climate & Health Alliance (GCHA) together with the World Medical Association and with support form the World Health Organization.

The Summit will highlight the dangerous impacts of climate change on human wellbeing, the health benefits of mitigation and current efforts to make the health system more sustainable. It will build a road-map for the international health community to work towards in the run-up to the 2015 climate negotiations in Paris.

Research shows that climate change already contributes to over 400,000 deaths every year . If there is a continued lack of political will, these figures are expected to increase dramatically as the impacts of climate change worsen:

- Populations at risk of infectious diseases such as malaria may grow to 170 million in Africa by 2030 whilst those at risk of dengue fever may increase to over 2 billion globally by 2080

- Climate change will worsen the impact of urban air pollution which is already directly responsible for over 1.2 million deaths each year

- The impact of coal plant emissions in Europe alone contributes to 18,000 premature deaths and four million lost working days - with all health costs combined totaling nearly 43 billion Euros every year 

- By 2080, over 100 million more people each year risk being exposed to coastal flooding by predicted sea level rises .

Human health is profoundly threatened by our global failure to halt emissions growth and curb climate change. GCHA argues that strategies to achieve rapid and sustained emissions reductions and to protect health must be implemented in a specified time frame to avert further loss and damage.

In addition to calling on governments to commit to a binding treaty at the 2015 COP in Paris, GCHA is also encouraging the international community to ensure the resulting political, legislative and financial frameworks reflect the full impacts of climate change on health and ensure public health is protected by governments around the world.

The GCHA Summit will take place on 16th November, 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. To attend, please register at

For more information about GCHA, please contact or call +44 7568356513.