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Reports 11 Jan 2011

Issue Brief: Climate Change and Global Health

The Role for Business

By Elvira Thissen

Global health has increasingly become an important pillar of the climate change debate, with the UCL Lancet Commission famously describing climate change as the biggest threat to global health in the 21st century.

Vector-borne diseases, food-and water-borne disease, respiratory and cardio-vascular disease, and malnutrition are among the health areas most likely to be affected in both the developed-, and particularly in the developing world. Addressing the issue will need to involve mitigation of climate change, and adaptation to its inevitable impacts.

Research on the health impacts of climate change and the solutions required does not often sufficiently consider, the role of business.

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Much of the research on the health impacts of climate change and the solutions required is directed at governments, policymakers, and civil society. However, the (partnering) role and contributions businesses – both within and outside the healthcare sector – can offer, are often not sufficiently taken into consideration.

This issue brief provides an overview of the health-related challenges posed by climate change and lists a number of inspiring examples of how the private sector can contribute products, services and expertise to help tackle these challenges.

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