Area of focus

Climate and health

Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century and affects the health of each of us. This era-defining challenge calls on all of us to share health know-how, ideas, and resources.

Climate  and health

Facts and figures

It’s a global problem

3.6

billion

people live in areas highly susceptible to climate change.

14.5

million

additional deaths predicted by 2050.

15x

increase

in the death rate from extreme weather in vulnerable areas.

56%

of people

suffer from climate anxiety in the US alone.


It’s escalating

37%

of heat-related deaths

are attributed to climate change.

828

million

people are affected by food insecurity – 150 million more people since 2019.

29%

more land

is impacted by drought than in the 1950s.

10x

increase

in cases of dengue fever from 2000-2019.


It impacts economies

$1.1

trillion

predicted cost to health systems due to climate change.

$12.5

trillion

economic losses due to climate change by 2050.

44

million

more people will be in extreme poverty by 2030.

5%

of climate

adaptation funding is for health.


WHO’s role in
climate and
health

Advocate

The World Health Organization (WHO) uses its global influence  to outline threats to health from climate change, it advocates for opportunities to promote health while cutting carbon emissions, and ensures that health is fully represented in international climate change discussions.

Evidence-gatherer

WHO assesses the scientific evidence on climate change’s impact on health and develops a global research agenda based on its wide-ranging assessment of health needs.

Comprehensive support

WHO advises countries on effective ways to protect human health from climate change. It supports them to cut carbon emissions within the health sector, and increase the resilience of health systems against the threats posed by climate change.

More on WHO’s work here