Often climate change is framed in terms of its impact on temperatures, sea levels, and ice caps; its impact on public health is often overlooked. A degradation of public health is a clear security risk. Yesterday, Paul Epstein, the Associate Director at the Center for Health and the Global Environment with Harvard’s
Climate change will increase the reach of disease. For example, the melting glaciers on
Climate change exposes the delicate interconnections between health and the surrounding climate. By exposing this complex relationship, Epstein explained how factors that threaten state stability, refugees, migrations, and resource scarcity, have roots often times in a public health crisis.
One key area for cooperation between developed and developing nations is on adaptation to increased disease risks caused by climate change. Climate change will increase the risk of diseases like malaria, but economic development, and public health investments can counteract these risks. Climate adaptation funding can help in these areas. At the end of his talk, Epstein said that successful adaptation to climate change will require economic development.