UCS Climate Hotmap

Urge the World Health Organization to Further Address the Impact of Global Warming on People

Global warming is already having tremendous impacts on people around the world, threatening public health, our food and water supplies, and our economy. These impacts will only worsen if we do nothing. We must act now to reduce dangerous heat-trapping emissions, and we must work together—on a global level.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that even the moderate warming experienced since the 1970s is already responsible for 140,000 excess annual deaths beginning in 2004.  In 2010, the WHO, along with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched a global project to aid national health systems' adaptation to climate change. Right now pilot programs are running in seven countries. These projects will expand the countries' ability to address common health risks associated with climate change in small-island developing states, highland, water-stressed, and urban contexts, respectively. For example, China will focus on strengthening early warning and response systems to extreme heat in urban settings, while Barbados will explore wastewater treatment options to reduce spread of disease vectors given scarce freshwater resources.

These seven projects should be applauded as a step in the right direction. However, additional effort and resources will be necessary to ensure lessons learned from the pilot programs will be applied broadly and rapidly to protect vulnerable populations.

Please thank the WHO for their efforts and urge them to support expansion of the Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Public Health project.

Please make your letter personal by adding in your own thoughts and concerns. Every letter makes a difference, but customized letters have the greatest effect.

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Please send this message to Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General

Dear Dr. Margaret Chan,

Thank you for working to protect people around the world from the public health impacts of climate change. The pilot Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Public Health projects are a step in the right direction. Please keep expanding these efforts that help reduce public health threats from global warming.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]