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Climate Change

Public Health Wales has published a series of infographics highlighting the importance of climate change impact on the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales, and to support public bodies and businesses to take action to address any impacts.

Launched to coincide with the Council of Parties 26 (COP26), the infographics focus on the relationships between the natural environment and health, the population groups affected and some of the key health and wellbeing impacts of climate change and those population groups who could be affected. Namely:

  • People – Climate change affects everyone, but the impacts will be felt disproportionately by some groups. This infographic highlights the health and wellbeing impacts of climate change on different population groups including; children and young people; older adults; people with disabilities and long term health conditions, and people living on a low income. Effective adaptation planning includes thinking about different groups and how they will be impacted.

 

  • Places – Climate change will impact health and wellbeing in the places where we live, work and play. More action is needed to prepare for increased heat in Wales, and this infographic aims to draw attention to places where plans are needed for adaptation to higher temperature including: workplaces; schools; homes; hospitals and care homes.

 

  • Food – Good nutrition is essential for healthy growth and development in children, maintaining health in adulthood and reducing the risk of diseases such as cancer. This infographic explores the impacts of climate change on food security and healthy eating.

 

  • Nature and health – The natural environment supports population health and wellbeing, from the air that people breathe, to the food consumed, to spending social, active and restful time in green and blue natural spaces. This infographic summarises the benefits of nature to physical, social and mental health and wellbeing, and also gives some ideas for actions on how everyone can take care of nature.

Nerys Edmonds, Principal Public Health Practitioner at Public Health Wales, said: “Our health and wellbeing depends on natural resources for the air we breathe, the food on our dinner plate, safe homes and the places and spaces we live in and enjoy together. Climate change is the major risk to public health, and the natural environment we depend, on this century. As the national public health institute in Wales, Public Health Wales has a core function to share expertise and resources to protect the population of Wales from serious infection and the health effects of environmental problems, including climate change. 

“Public Health Wales (PHW) has committed in its long term plan to work with our partners to prepare for, and respond, to the expected and unexpected impact of climate change in Wales. As part of our contribution, the Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU) has been working with partner agencies including Natural Resources Wales, Renew Wales and Welsh Government, on a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of Climate Change in Wales. The infographics are part of this work which is ongoing and aims to ensure that organisations and Public Bodies in Wales have the evidence and information they need to plan for and respond to the health and wellbeing impacts on people and communities that climate change will bring.”