Figure TS.9. Direction and magnitude of change of selected health impacts of climate change.

Figure TS.9. Direction and magnitude of change of selected health impacts of climate change.

Adverse health impacts will be greatest in low-income countries (high confidence).

Studies in temperate areas (mainly in industrialised countries) have shown that climate change is projected to bring some benefits, such as fewer deaths from cold exposure. Overall it is expected that these benefits will be outweighed by the negative health effects of rising temperatures worldwide, especially in developing countries. The balance of positive and negative health impacts will vary from one location to another, and will alter over time as temperatures continue to rise. Those at greater risk include, in all countries, the urban poor, the elderly and children, traditional societies, subsistence farmers, and coastal populations [8.1.1, 8.4.2, 8.6.1, 8.7].

Current national and international programmes and measures that aim to reduce the burdens of climate-sensitive health determinants and outcomes may need to be revised, reoriented and, in some regions, expanded to address the additional pressures of climate change (medium confidence).

This includes the consideration of climate-change related risks in disease monitoring and surveillance systems, health system planning, and preparedness. Many of the health outcomes are mediated through changes in the environment. Measures implemented in the water, agriculture, food and construction sectors can be designed to benefit human health [8.6, 8.7].

Economic development is an important component of adaptation, but on its own will not insulate the world's population from disease and injury due to climate change (very high confidence).

Critically important will be the manner in which economic growth occurs, the distribution of the benefits of growth, and factors that directly shape the health of populations, such as education, health care, and public health infrastructure [8.3.2].

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