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Health and Climate Change

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‘Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century’ yet also 'responding to climate change is the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century’ (The Lancet)

Climate change and its associated impacts such as air pollution are a huge health challenge to the UK and the rest of the world. 

How does climate change impact health?

Just as climate change is caused by the release of greenhouse gases, which traps heat, the warming itself also alters the chemistry of the atmosphere in ways that impact our health. By 2013, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had increased by 42% above levels before the Industrial Revolution (UKHACC, 2016). For example, global warming increases the levels of a gas called ozone in the lower atmosphere. The result of this increase is airway damage, reduced lung function and an increase in respiratory illnesses.

Aside from air pollution, climate change has other impacts on health. In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that between 2030 and 2050, climate change will cause an additional 250,000 deaths worldwide per year from malaria, diarrhoea, heat exposure and under nutrition.

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Climate Change and health in the UK

Having some key facts to hand can not only back up your MP 'asks', but can also offer something to MPs themselves, who have to know a little about a lot. Click the button below to learn more about how climate change is already impacting health in the UK.



Air pollution is one of the major health threats in the UK. However, tackling air pollution can have numerous benefits for preventing and adapting to climate change. Click here to find out about the co-benefits of tackling air pollution and climate change in a joined up way.


what can i talk to my MP about?

Learn more about how you can tailor your MP meeting to the co-benefits of tackling health and climate change. Here you can read about active travel, air quality monitoring and promoting alternatives to diesel and petrol cars, Here you can also find out about working with your Councillor on this issue.

If you want to find out more about related issues, follow the links below:

Fuel Poverty                  Divestment                            Decarbonisation of the heat network

Green Growth              Community Energy

Date of Publication: 10.05.2018