Climate change is according to the WHO the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century. By bringing together leaders in climate change and health research the CICERO-coordinated Horizon 2020 project ENBEL will contribute with knowledge and policy advice on climate change and health links.
“Climate change is already affecting public health, both directly and indirectly. But in order to provide integrated and evidence-based policy advice for mitigating the impacts of climate change on human health, more collaboration between climate change and health researchers is needed”, says Kristin Aunan, Senior Researcher at CICERO Center for International Climate Research and project coordinator of the EU funded project ‘Enhancing Belmont Research Action to support EU policy making on climate change and health (ENBEL)’.
Climate change and health links
By bringing together leaders in climate change and health research, ENBEL aims to support EU, international and national policy making with the aim of shaping low-carbon economies and build climate resilience.
More specifically, ENBEL will coordinate a network of major international health and climate research projects under the Belmont Forum’s Collaborative Research Action (CRA) on Climate, Environment and Health (CEH), EU-funded and relevant nationally funded projects. The project will engage with policymakers and key stakeholders at EU, national and international level, as well as in low and middle income countries (LMIC).
In the call for proposals, the European Commission recognized that bringing together climate change and health research has been a particular challenge in Europe that requires coordination and support.
The network will synthesize science-based evidence on climate change and health links, identify knowledge gaps and co-produce with stakeholders a series of tailor-made knowledge products.
The key thematic focus is on environmental and occupational heat, air pollution (including from wildfires) and climate-sensitive infectious diseases, with specific attention given to high-risk groups and populations.
The overall concept of ENBEL is a bottom-up approach to networking and cooperation across the often separate worlds of climate and health research communities.
The project consortium is multidisciplinary and includes 17 partners from 11 European countries as well as from Botswana, Kenya, and South Africa. Together the partners have competencies in medicine, epidemiology, public health, climate and air quality modelling, health impact assessment and economics. Specialists in science and policy communication and stakeholder engagement are also included.
“ENBEL brings together a consortium of researchers whose work generates actionable knowledge on how climate change-health risks will develop under global warming, what the social costs are as well as cost-efficient and equitable mitigation and adaptation strategies, “ says Aunan.
ENBEL is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and runs from November 2020 until October 2023.
Follow us at @ENBEL_H2020 (Twitter)
Partners in ENBEL:
CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Norway (Coordinator)
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
Umeå University, Sweden
Graz University, Austria
Azienda Sanitaria Locale Roma, Italy
University of Tartu, Estonia
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland
Health and Environment Alliance, Belgium
Red Cross Red Crescent Centre on Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness, Netherlands
Aga Khan University – East Africa, Kenya
INSERM-Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, France
University of Gothenburg , Sweden
Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland
Lund University, Sweden
University of Botswana, Botswana
Research projects represented in ENBEL:
Health effects and associated socio-economic costs of increasing temperatures and wildfires - A global assessment (HEATCOST) (Belmont Forum Climate Environment and Health CEH2019)
Arctic Community Resilience to Boreal Environmental change: Assessing Risks from fire and disease (ACRoBEAR) (Belmont Forum Climate Environment and Health CEH2019)
Climate, heat and maternal and neonatal health in Africa (CHAMNHA) (Belmont Forum Climate Environment and Health CEH2019)
Addressing Extreme Weather Related Diarrheal Disease Risks in the Asia Pacific Region (AWARD-APR) (Belmont Forum Climate Environment and Health CEH2019)
Protection Resilience Efficiency and Prevention for workers in industrial agriculture in a changing climate (PREP) (Belmont Forum Climate Environment and Health CEH2019)
Community collective action to respond to climate change influencing the environment-health nexus (CCEHN) (Belmont Forum Climate Environment and Health CEH2019)