Climate change is recognised as the biggest threat to global health of the 21st century and impacts on health and wellbeing through a range of factors. Due to this, the need to take action in order to protect population health and wellbeing is becoming ever more urgent.

In 2019, Public Health Wales carried out a comprehensive mixed-method Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of climate change. Unlike other risk assessments, it appraised the potential impact of climate change on health and inequalities in Wales through participatory workshops, stakeholder consultations, systematic literature reviews and case studies.

The HIA findings indicate potential impacts across the wider determinants of health and wellbeing. For example, air quality, excess heat/cold, flooding, economic productivity, infrastructure, and community resilience. A range of impacts were identified across population groups, settings, and geographical areas.

These findings can inform decision-makers to prepare for climate change plans and policies using an evidence-informed approach. The work has demonstrated the value of a HIA approach by mobilising a range of evidence through a transparent process, resulting in transferrable learning for others.

Authors: Liz Green, Kathryn Ashton+ 6 more
, Nerys Edmonds, Michael Fletcher, Sumina Azam, Karen Hughes, Phil Wheater, Mark A Bellis
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