Programme / Thematic Sessions III. d. Climate Justice for Managing Climate Change Risks on Health

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Day 3

Friday / 22 NOV

11:30 - 13:00

Thematic session:
Thematic Sessions III. d. Climate Justice for Managing Climate Change Risks on Health
Venue: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Reading Room

Volker ter Meulen opened the session and pointed out that health-related issues had been neglected by IPCC reports for a long time, but now it is time to ask what science can contribute to this discussion.


Robin Fears gave a short introduction on the background of the session and the work already done by the contributors. Climate change has both direct effects (for example, severe weather conditions) and indirect effects (for example, crop failure) on health. The EASAC report published in June 2019 raises a number of ethical issues, including the questions of intra- and intergenerational equity. We have to focus on how to work together and how to ensure good policy.


Thomas Schinko, speaking to the IPCC’s Five Reasons for Concern, emphasised that voluntary actions by countries will not solve global problems. He discussed the importance of the third pillar in international climate policy, Loss and Damage, and the corresponding open access book he published with his colleagues. He urged that adaptation limits be taken into consideration. Finally, he proposed a move towards transformational climate risk management.


JoAnne Linnerooth-Bayer’s presentation concerned how extreme climate events and disasters, the majority of which are climate change-related, affect the health of the poor. Although micro-insurance programs could alleviate this burden, affordability remains a difficulty. A proposed solution is to focus on the principle of accountability and move the narrative from compensation to insurance. Insurance programs already operating in Africa can serve as instructive examples. Finally, Maria Nilsson discussed climate-related health risks. Generally, the young, the elderly and pregnant women are extremely vulnerable. But certain climate events also affect those with mental health or other medical conditions. A special ethical problem is the intergenerational effect caused by risks to the young, as well as the long-term persistence of emissions.


Rapporteur: Zsóka Vásárhelyi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Ecological Research