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ENBEL FOCUSES ON THREE MAJOR CLIMATE RELATED HEALTH HAZARDS: ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HEAT, AIR POLLUTION (PARTICULARLY FROM WILDFIRES) AND CLIMATE-SENSITIVE INFECTIOUS DISEASES. PHOTO: EMMA SIMPSON/UNSPLASH

ENBEL FOCUSES ON THREE MAJOR CLIMATE RELATED HEALTH HAZARDS: ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HEAT, AIR POLLUTION (PARTICULARLY FROM WILDFIRES) AND CLIMATE-SENSITIVE INFECTIOUS DISEASES. PHOTO: EMMA SIMPSON/UNSPLASH

ENBEL: Connecting health and climate change research

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.

Bottom-up approach

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)

Follow the project and learn more at the project website enbel-project.eu

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) 

Building New Tools for Data Sharing and Re-use through a Transnational Investigation of the Socioeconomic Impacts of Protected Areas (PARSEC)  (Belmont Forum, other)

Exposure to heat and air pollution in Europe – cardiopulmonary impacts and benefits of mitigation and adaptation (EXHAUSTION) (Horizon 2020)

Integrated inter-sector framework to increase the thermal resilience of European workers (HEAT-SHIELD) (Horizon 2020) 

CAScading Climate risks: towards ADaptive and resilient European Societies (CASCADES) (Horizon 2020) 

Building European Communities' Resilience and Social Capital (BuildERS) (Horizon 2020) 

Translating climate service information into personalized adaptation strategies to cope with thermal climate stress (ClimApp) (JPI Climate - ERA4CS)