Late Breaker: Climate change is a health emergency  

Friday 10 November, 12:50 – 13:50 (Dublin time) 

Organised by:

EPH Conference, EUPHA


Many people in the world, both in Europe as elsewhere, are now experiencing the health impacts of the climate emergency first-hand. Bush fires one day and floodings the next.

As climate change accelerates, the health impacts on the most vulnerable populations become increasingly pronounced and alarming. Extreme weather events, disrupted ecosystems, and changing disease patterns are affecting the well-being of people worldwide.

Marginalized communities, including women and girls, refugees, the elderly, and those living in poverty, face disproportionate risks and consequences from the climate crisis. Recent reports, such as the UNFPA and Queen Mary University of London joint study, underscore the exacerbation of existing inequalities. The study revealed alarming connections between climate change and adverse health outcomes, including earlier deliveries, stillbirths, and interruptions to maternal health services due to climate-related damage to health facilities. Gender-based violence and child marriage are on the rise as families under stress seek to marry off their daughters. Climate-induced migration, both internal and cross-border, is increasing. Concurrently, climate change is associated with rising violent crime rates and deteriorating mental health, particularly among youth.

In this roundtable, we will address critical questions, including:

  • Preparedness for climate emergencies: How can we enhance our readiness to respond to climate-related health crises, particularly when vulnerable populations are most at risk?
  • Education of the public health workforce:How can we equip our public health workforce with the knowledge and tools needed to understand and address the health impacts of climate change effectively?
  • Protection of the most vulnerable: What policies, strategies, and local initiatives can be implemented to protect and support the most vulnerable populations, particularly in the face of climate change-induced challenges?


Regien Biesma-Blanco, Chair of the Interantional Scientific Committee, 16th EPH Conference Dublin 2023


Introductory presentation on the climate crisis: facts, evidence
Marija Jevtic, President EUPHA Environment and health section

How does the climate crisis affects our mental health, in particular young people’s health?
Jutta Lindert, President EUPHA Public mental health section

The need for addressing climate change in medical education and sustainable health care
Debbi Stanistreet, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Irish Doctors for the Environment

Health law, legal mitigation and climate change
Brigit Toebes, Professor of Health Law, University of Groningen; Scientific director Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, Netherlands

The need to focus on child health and impact of climate related environmental exposures
Peter van den Hazel, Vice-President EUPHA Environment and health section

Climate change activism 
Sinead Dart-O’Flynn, Irish Doctors for the Environment, The Reforestation Project

The need for policies on climate change and health
Marleen Bekker, Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands


Registration is not required. Delegates who are registered for the main EPH Conference can attend free of charge. Get your lunch in the Exhibiton / Catering Area, walk in and join the session.