Climate Week NYC events to spotlight the public health impacts of climate change

19 August 2014

NEW YORK: Learn more about the public health impacts of climate change at two unique events that are taking place at Climate Week NYC next month, an international platform for government, business and civil society to work together on low carbon solutions.

Health is not necessarily the first ‘impact’ that comes to mind when the threats and risks of climate change are mentioned. But in April of this year, the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated with “very high confidence” that climate change will exacerbate existing health problems, leading to increases in ill-health.

Speaking at the Climate Week NYC 2013, world expert Dr Cecil B. Wilson, MD, President of the World Medical Association, affirmed the importance of climate action to curb impacts on human health: "Climate instability, changing weather patterns, threaten our health and the vitality of our life-support systems.  The harm to our health and well-being, associated health and social costs, will continue to mount unless we take comprehensive action [on climate change]." 

There have been close to two million deaths as a result of climate and weather-related disasters since 1970, and indirectly through impacts such as shifts in the transmission of disease and respiratory conditions associated with an increase in airborne pollutants.

In light of this, it is unsurprising that managing these impacts will be forefront of discussions at Climate Week NYC this September. Two events in particular will address this issue prior to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit on Tuesday September 23, during which health management is a principle topic on the agenda.

On September 19, the “Educational Forum; Today’s fossil fuels and the future of our children’s health” will address the impact of our high carbon dependence to the health of future generations. This forum will present a dynamic and unique opportunity to learn about cutting edge science that brings us not just knowledge but hope; the hope of curing diseases we didn't know were curable and preventing those we didn't know we could prevent.

Then on September 22, The Wellcome Trust, the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health & the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and Meteos are co-hosting an interactive discussion to explore the impact of nutrition and environmental change to health, and how science and technology can address the challenges we face.

Invited panellists and an expert audience of IPCC authors, health professionals, business leaders and social entrepreneurs will explore the issues and provide inputs on climate change and health to the Wellcome Trust’s Sustaining Health dialogue.

For a full list of Climate Week NYC events, please visit and follow the conversation on Twitter using #CWNYC.

You can also see our Climate Week NYC media resources for press releases, contacts and more info.

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By Mary Davies

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