WMA Welcomes New Report on Climate Change and Health

(23.06.2015) The World Medical Association today welcomed the Lancet Commission's latest report on climate change, which it says reiterates the serious concerns of physicians that climate change poses an unacceptably high threat to health.

In particular the WMA strongly supports the report's new estimates of exposure to climate change and human health. It also welcomes the indications that climate change mitigation has the potential to substantially improve public health by reducing the burden of disease from a variety of illnesses, provide economic savings, support sustainable development and advance global equity.

WMA President Dr. Xavier Deau said: 'The Lancet Commission's findings that changes in population distribution and demographic structure over the coming century will put more people in harm's way highlights the need for urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions to protect health.

‘We, physicians, have the opportunity to help the public and decision-makers better understand the health implications of climate change. We can explain how the rapidly emerging risks associated with climate change are connected with individual and community health and we can help develop public understanding of the full scope of the problem, and contribute to relevant and comprehensive responses.

'I would hope that governments across the world will take seriously this report's suggestions for action now and its proposal for a ‘countdown 2030’ process to monitor progress over the next 15 years.'