Climate and health

Our vision is a world where catastrophic climate breakdown is averted in a way that allows human health to flourish.

Testing soil health in Western Kenya

The problem 

Climate change is a health crisis, but it's not framed that way in the mainstream conversation. We still don't fully understand all the ways it's impacting health, and the evidence we do have isn't translating into policy action. We need to urgently scale up evidence-based climate action to improve and protect our health and the health of the plant.

Our goals 

Better understanding of how climate change affects health

Transformative research in diverse regions informs effective, health-focused climate action that is acceptable and affordable in relevant locations.

A thriving climate and health field

Research evidence

Our work 

Wellcome’s Climate and Health programme is backing evidence generation and science-based actions.

Our primary objective is to generate evidence and solutions to climate change that can and will be implemented.

We’re using the evidence to make the case to governments around the world to take physical and mental health into account in climate policy.

Explainer
Explainer

Explained: how El Niño impacts health

7-minute read

El Niño conditions are returning. Global temperatures are expected to rise, leading to extreme climate and weather events with health consequences around the world. Find out about the health effects of El Niño and why preparedness is critical to mitigating its impact.

Explainer
Explainer

Why climate mitigation is critical to protect health

4-minute read

If climate change is one of the greatest global health threats of the 21st century, climate mitigation is the greatest global health opportunity. Here’s why.

Author
Research story
Research story

How can we protect pregnant women from rising temperatures?

3-minute read

Dr Gloria Maimela, Director of Climate and Health at Wits RHI in South Africa, outlines the impacts of excessive heat on pregnant women – and shares some of the ways research can provide solutions.

Author

What funding do we provide? 

We’re looking to fund better and faster ways to collect and share information about the impact climate change has on human health around the world, at national, regional, and global levels. 

This evidence must be tailored to the needs of specific regions, countries, and communities, so that it is of practical use to decision makers at all levels of governance.  

We want to focus on: quantitative data on the effects of climate change on health; identifying the benefits to health of urgent climate change mitigation actions; establishing evidence on how to protect health through climate change adaption actions; and creating a global climate and health community with the skills and tools necessary to make a significant impact.

Additionally, we fund discovery research in a broad range of disciplines, including climate and health.

We also invite organisations to apply for contract opportunities that support our mission.

Climate and health funding opportunities

How is Wellcome funded? 

Wellcome is an independent charitable foundation. To find out where we get our grant funding from, visit our investments page

Why is climate and health a core focus for us? 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate change is the single greatest threat to humanity and its effects on human health are already being felt. 

However, there are significant gaps in scientific understanding of the scale of the current and future effects of climate change on health; how to protect the health of populations as the climate changes (adaptation); and the potential benefits to health of actions that would reduce climate change (mitigation). 

To fill these gaps, the field of climate and health research needs significantly better resourcing; increased collaboration in research between experts in different scientific disciplines; and recognition of the urgent need to prioritise efforts to reduce future climate change as well as protecting the communities that will be most affected.  

But the production of this evidence alone, however important, is not sufficient. We will seek to ensure that the evidence is used by community, national, and global policy makers to deliver interventions and policies that respond to the urgent climate and health crisis. 

We hope these studies will provide evidence that key decision makers can use to make science-informed choices when creating policy related to climate change and human health. 

"We are supporting a transformation in the generation and use of evidence on the interaction between climate change and health in order to put health at the heart of climate change action."

Alan Dangour

Director of Climate and Health

Wellcome

Our team 

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