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ADB Report Warns Against Climate Change Impacts on Health

July 2011: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has released a report titled "Accounting for Health Impacts of Climate Change." The report highlights that Asia and the Pacific host the greatest number of people vulnerable to the projected adverse impacts of climate change, which will challenge the public health community at the global, national, and local levels with the appearance of new diseases and the proliferation of existing ones.

The report, based on a study of the impacts of climate change on health in Tajikistan, the Philippines and Nepal, notes that existing knowledge on the relationship between climate change and health, and how it may change with the socioeconomic characteristics of populations, is anecdotal and insufficient to guide policy making. It further suggests that unless developing countries anticipate and plan cost-effective responses to the health effects of climate change, the health impacts and costs of climate change are likely to overwhelm the capacity of the public sector.

Key messages of the report include that: planning adaptation investments in the health sector must be an important part of a climate change adaptation strategy; the health benefits of adaptation investments in agriculture, water, and disaster risk reduction (DRR) should be explicitly accounted for in the design and economic analysis of such investments; and climate experts, health experts, and economists need to improve the way they communicate to ensure greater project integration. [Publication: Accounting for Health Impacts of Climate Change]