Knowledge for better food systems

Climate action to protect human health in Europe

This report from the European Academies Science Advisory Board outlines the connections between climate change and human health in Europe, recommends integrating health concerns into climate mitigation strategies, and suggests areas of priority for further research.

Some of the conclusions of the report are:

  1. Climate change poses major health risks in Europe, including increased exposure to heat and floods, and a higher risk of both communicable and non-communicable diseases.
  2. Within Europe, the Arctic and the Mediterranean areas are likely to be most vulnerable to climate change.
  3. While there is significant collaboration across the European Union in setting climate policy, health policies tend to be set at the national level, leading to a disconnection between the two policy areas.
  4. There are likely to be substantial economic benefits to addressing the health impacts of climate change.

Read the full report, The imperative of climate action to protect human health in Europe, here. See also the Foodsource chapter How are food systems, diets, and health connected?

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Europe

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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