Learn more about our Climate and Health strategic programme area
The climate crisis is the biggest threat to human health. We’re already seeing:
increasing illness and deaths caused by extreme weather
increased spread of diseases
declines in crop yields leading to food insecurity and malnutrition
impacts on mental health
We’re spending over £100mn this year alone on supporting the research needed to tackle this.
We need a rapid global transition to clean energy and reductions of greenhouse gas emissions – from a climate, health and economic perspective.
Find us at COP
Events supported by Wellcome
Wellcome Trust and the World Health Organization, in collaboration with George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, are hosting a conversation on communication and engagement strategies for inspiring urgent climate action. This event will bring together stakeholders across research and advocacy to discuss how effective communication about climate and health can advance our shared ambitions to mitigate worsening effects of a warmer climate and adapt health systems.
Creating interoperable digital infrastructure that brings together climate and health-specific data is going to be critical for understanding the impacts we need to adapt to, monitoring the health effects of adaptation and mitigation and accelerating digital product development. The last decade has seen enormous investment in the digital transformation of health systems that could be leveraged in this context. Mature, scalable, open-source software are used by every country in the world and where implementations have been undertaken by governments the digital infrastructure is locally owned and managed. These digital public goods have the potential to accelerate climate action.
A conversation with Julia Gillard, Wellcome Trust Chair, and fellow leaders in climate and health to showcase how leadership in the field has helped promote new solutions and approaches to tackle the climate crisis and its health impacts. It will be an opportunity to illustrate the impacts that climate and health action can have on the lives of those most affected and the ambitions of leaders in this space.
We know that climate change is one of the greatest threats to human health. We also know that the impacts of climate will not be felt evenly, and that children are particularly vulnerable. This event will set out the problem, but also potential solutions.
Health Day events
Learn about the events Wellcome is supporting as part of the first COP Health Day.
This event will unpack political and financial commitments on climate and health made during the World Action Summit and set the scene for the first ever dedicated Health Day at COP.
A growing body of research and data demonstrates how climate change impacts human health. This event will provide a high-level overview of this scientific evidence in an engaging way, to show the different ways in which climate change is already damaging human health today, and its likely long-term impacts. It will also introduce evidence on the health benefits of climate action. Frontline communities and representatives from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups will share the ways in which their health and lives are being impacted by climate change. The event will look to ‘bring the science to life’ with real-world examples and case studies.
This event will make the case for mental health as a priority action for the health response to climate change. On top of suffering physical impacts from the climate crisis, people’s mental health is also being severely impacted, preventing them from thriving and affecting resilience. The cost of these impacts is estimated to grow to 47 billion US$ annually by 2030. This event will focus on climate-induced mental health impacts among the most vulnerable communities including youth, those with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and people living with severe mental health challenges.
Taking rapid and ambitious action to address the climate crisis and reach the goals of the Paris Agreement is critical to protecting lives and livelihoods. This event will highlight the health opportunities of ambitious climate mitigation policies, both in terms of reduced climate impacts, and possible co-benefits of specific mitigation actions across key fields including energy, transport and agriculture.
Events from our partners
When climate is a health story – From local to global, how climate journalism can elevate the health story at the heart of the climate crisis (Internews) – 1 Dec, 13:30 – 14:45 GST, Health Pavilion
Catalyzing aligned, inclusive, and co-beneficial action for climate change and mental health (Connecting Climate Minds), 4 Dec, 15:00 – 16:30 GST, Side Event Room 5
Driving the end of the fossil fuel era: how cities are leading a just transition to build a healthier world (C40 cities) – 6 Dec, 11:15 – 12:30 GST, Health Pavilion
Connecting psychological resilience and mental health to climate action: insights and hopes of young people (Connecting Climate Minds) – 8 Dec, 13:30 – 14:45 GST, Health Pavilion
Climate and health reports
Research we fund
We’re awarding £17.6 million to research projects that will support policymakers in G7 countries to incorporate health into climate change mitigation policies.
Dengue is a threat to people’s health in Vietnam, and it’s being exacerbated by climate change. A new digital tool could protect more people by predicting where potential dengue outbreaks might happen.
Climate change is making the planet hotter. We’ve awarded £17.5 million to research teams around the world who are investigating ways we can adapt.
Climate and health explained
Climate change is a global health problem already impacting millions of people around the world. Here’s what you need to know.