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Climate Change and Health: Transcending Silos to Find Solutions

Authors:

Catherine Machalaba ,

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY; Future Earth ecoHEALTH project, New York, NY; City University of New York School of Public Health, New York, NY
About Catherine
MPH
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Cristina Romanelli,

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Canada
About Cristina
MSc, MA
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Peter Stoett,

Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
About Peter
PhD
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Sarah E. Baum,

Barnard College, New York, NY
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Timothy A. Bouley,

World Bank Group, Washington, DC
About Timothy A.
MD
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Peter Daszak,

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY; Future Earth ecoHEALTH project, New York, NY
About Peter
PhD
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William B. Karesh

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY; Future Earth ecoHEALTH project, New York, NY
About William
DVM
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Abstract

Background

Climate change has myriad implications for the health of humans, our ecosystems, and the ecological processes that sustain them. Projections of rising greenhouse gas emissions suggest increasing direct and indirect burden of infectious and noninfectious disease, effects on food and water security, and other societal disruptions. As the effects of climate change cannot be isolated from social and ecological determinants of disease that will mitigate or exacerbate forecasted health outcomes, multidisciplinary collaboration is critically needed.

Objectives

The aim of this article was to review the links between climate change and its upstream drivers (ie, processes leading to greenhouse gas emissions) and health outcomes, and identify existing opportunities to leverage more integrated global health and climate actions to prevent, prepare for, and respond to anthropogenic pressures.

Methods

We conducted a literature review of current and projected health outcomes associated with climate change, drawing on findings and our collective expertise to review opportunities for adaptation and mitigation across disciplines.

Findings

Health outcomes related to climate change affect a wide range of stakeholders, providing ready collaborative opportunities for interventions, which can be differentiated by addressing the upstream drivers leading to climate change or the downstream effects of climate change itself.

Conclusions

Although health professionals are challenged with risks from climate change and its drivers, the adverse health outcomes cannot be resolved by the public health community alone. A phase change in global health is needed to move from a passive responder in partnership with other societal sectors to drive innovative alternatives. It is essential for global health to step outside of its traditional boundaries to engage with other stakeholders to develop policy and practical solutions to mitigate disease burden of climate change and its drivers; this will also yield compound benefits that help address other health, environmental, and societal challenges.

How to Cite: Machalaba, C., Romanelli, C., Stoett, P., Baum, S.E., Bouley, T.A., Daszak, P. and B. Karesh, W., 2015. Climate Change and Health: Transcending Silos to Find Solutions. Annals of Global Health, 81(3), pp.445–458. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2015.08.002
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Published on 27 Nov 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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