Pre-conference: Public health and climatic changes
Wednesday 20 November, 09:00 - 17:00
Agence Régional de Santé, Région Sud Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, France
Public health policies aim to target health determinants, including those related to our environment. While healthcare systems provide care to people with diseases and health problems, prevention policies and actions focusing on our living environments are of utmost importance to improve population health.
Amongst environmental health determinants, climate change represents a public health threat. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) based its scenarios on a 2°C global warming estimation. However, in the Mediterranean area, the temperature increase might be between 3 and 6°C, that will cause more intense consequences on the environment and on health.
The constant increase of temperatures has multiple consequences on population health, already observed in the South of France, but still insufficiently taken into account in public policies. These consequences are, for instance: excess in mortality during heat waves, especially in urban areas; worsening of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases due to air pollution; increase of allergies due to the combined effects of longer pollen seasons, higher pollen production wider areas concerned -notably by ambrosia; spread of vectors of tropical diseases resulting in the emergence of chikungunya, dengue or West Nile transmission episodes; ostreopsis bloom episodes; increasing pressure on water resources due to competitive and highly demanding uses (agriculture, industries, domestic use, tourism…); higher frequency of natural disasters (floods, wildfires…).
Reducing and adapting to the impacts of climate change on the environment and population health is a challenge affecting everyone: it is therefore essential to get actors from all sectors (transportation, energy, agriculture, urbanism…) as well as citizens involved. The latter will need favourable conditions to engage into behavioural changes and to be accompanied in such changes. It is also essential to get regional and local authorities involved to engage and support policies to tackle and manage what can be called a societal transition. In France, a plan such as the Climate, Air and Energy Programmes (PCAET) was launched in 2017 in several local council communities and may prove useful in this perspective.
The South-eastern France Climate Experts Group (Groupe d’Experts sur le Climat Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur - GREC SUD) was founded in 2015 in this perspective. This group brings together scientists, decision-makers, local authorities, organizations and citizens. Its general missions consist in raising public awareness about the climate change, transferring scientific knowledge regarding the climate change and its consequences to local stakeholders, and taking action to encourage the energy and ecological transition in Southeastern France.
The preconference will offer the opportunity for public health actors in France and the region to promote the various and innovative actions they are implementing in their territories regarding climate change. An important aspect that will be discussed during this preconference will be how to mobilize a chain of actors in order to design and implement collective solutions addressing health issues related to climate change.
The pre-conference “Public Health and climatic changes” will be placed on the agenda of the third Regional Plan for Environmental Health agenda in order to associate local partners into this public health European event and to initiate successful collaborations with partners in Europe.
The pre-conference is free of charge but registration is required. Networking lunch and refreshments are included. Number of registrations is limited.