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June 2020

Adaptation to climate change-related health effects

Responding to climate change involves a two-pronged approach, including reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases (mitigation) and planning and acting to address those consequences of climate change that cannot be avoided (adaptation).

For health impacts, adaptation is defined as ‘designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating strategies, policies and programmes to manage the risks of climate-relevant health outcomes’ (WHO 2014).

This scientific opinion, published in June 2020, examines which adaptation measures could strengthen the European health sector with respect to impacts from climate change. It focuses on vulnerable groups, regions and the urban environment, and the impact of vector-borne diseases, heat and heat waves.

Scientific advice

Delivery date

29 June 2020

Supports EU mission

Adaptation to climate change

Supports UN sustainable development goals

Good health and wellbeing
Reduced inequalities


The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors responds to the request for advice from the European Commission.

Their policy recommendations are based on the best available scientific evidence.

Climate change and health SO cover
Bibliographic information
Cite as
European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, (2020). Adaptation to health effects of climate change in Europe, Publications Office.
The Scientific Opinion is written jointly by the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors. Former Advisors (‘alumni’) may also contribute.
Portrait of Janusz Bujnicki

Janusz Bujnicki

Portrait of Pearl Dykstra

Pearl Dykstra

Portrait of Elvira Fortunato

Elvira Fortunato

Portrait of Nicole Grobert

Nicole Grobert

Portrait of Rolf-Dieter Heuer

Rolf-Dieter Heuer

Portrait of Carina Keskitalo

Carina Keskitalo

Portrait of Éva Kondorosi

Éva Kondorosi

Portrait of Paul Nurse

Paul Nurse



30 June 2020
Advice on climate change and health
Today, the European Commission’s independent Group of Chief Scientific Advisors published their opinion Adaptation to climate change-related health effects which contains advice and recommendations on how the EU can help to make our societies, and in particular the health sector, better prepared and more resilient with respect to impacts from climate change on health.


26 January 2021
Climate change and health
Online event
This webinar examined climate action for health, before looking at how we can use scientific evidence to integrate climate change and health into policy development.
Uncle SAM

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