Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

Climate Centre part of new EU-funded project joining the dots on climate and health research

08/12/2020 - by Roop Singh, Climate Centre, New York

The Climate Centre is joining a new project launched last week bringing together leaders in research on climate change and health, supported by the European Commission and coordinated by the Oslo-based CICERO Center for International Climate Research.

The project, Enhancing Belmont [Forum] research action to support EU policy-making on climate change and health (ENBEL), will “support EU, international and national policy-making with the aim of shaping low-carbon economies and build climate resilience,” a CICERO press release said.

“Climate change is already affecting public health, both directly and indirectly,” said Kristin Aunan, Senior Researcher at CICERO.

“But in order to provide integrated and evidence-based policy advice for mitigating the impacts of climate change on human health, more collaboration between climate change and health researchers is needed.

“ENBEL brings together a consortium of researchers whose work generates actionable knowledge on how…health risks will develop under global warming, what the social costs are, as well as cost-efficient and equitable mitigation and adaptation strategies.”

‘High-risk groups’

ENBEL will synthesize science-based evidence on climate change and health links, identify knowledge gaps and produce with tailored knowledge products together with other stakeholders.

“The key thematic focus is on…heat, air pollution (including from wildfires) and climate-sensitive infectious diseases, with specific attention given to high-risk groups and populations,” the CICERO release adds.

The Climate Centre will facilitate engagement with stakeholders in East and Southern Africa on extreme heat – a largely under-recognized hazard worldwide – to connect the researchers’ findings with policy and practice.

The project includes 17 partners from 11 European countries as well as Botswana, Kenya, and South Africa.

Partner specialisms include epidemiology, public health, air quality, health impacts and economics, and communications.

ENBEL is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and runs to October 2023.

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last summer and all the operational difficulties it has generated, Myanmar Red Cross volunteers evacuated villagers in flooded Kachin state, providing advice on how to stay healthy and hopeful amid the latest climate-related disaster to affect the country. A new project involving the Climate Centre will help the humanitarian sector build resilience by combining and interpreting health and climate research. (Library photo: Myanmar Red Cross via IFRC)