Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety | Impacts of climate change and air pollution on the health of the EU population


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As 13% of deaths in the EU 28 Member States (EU-28) were attributable to the environment in 2012,1 it is clear that the effects of climate change are having tangible consequences for the European population. Its pace and intensity could thus lead to increasing health risks accross the EU. Globally, temperatures have already risen by 1°C above pre-industrial levels and a temperature increase of more than 2°C would lead to even greater health risks, especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and children. There is therefore an urgent need for integrated strategies for adaptation and mitigation. Adaptation is aimed at reducing the climate change’s negative effects as well as at taking advantage of any opportunities that it creates, whereas mitigation strategies’ objective is to tackle the cause of climate change while minimising its possible impacts and potentially offering health (co)benefits.

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