Plan to minimise climate emergency effects on people’s health
Working group and scientific committee will advise government
The Catalan Ministry of Health has launched a program that aims to reduce the impact of the climate emergency on people’s health, and identify the groups and areas in Catalonia most vulnerable to climate change.
A coordination group will be responsible for sharing new actions and defining evaluation indicators, while a technical committee will advise the department on these aspects. All of the information, including impacts, indicators and adaptation measures will be gathered in a website for citizens, local authorities and professionals.
Health official Joan Guix explained that up until now the health system has been responding to the impacts of climate change, but with this program they want to "anticipate and foresee".
According to the Ministry of Health, the main consequences of climate change in Catalonia include an increase in temperature, with more floods, droughts and fires, and an increase in pollen count and air pollution, factors which have already led to new risks such as a greater seasonal and geographical distribution of mosquitoes, increased heat stroke and increased food insecurity situations.
The program’s launch comes amidst various debates and new measures around climate change. In May 2019 the Catalan government declared a climate emergency while on 1 January a Low Emission Zone for vehicles was introduced in Barcelona. Last week there were calls to scrap flights between Barcelona and Madrid, given the availability of a high-speed train alternative.