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Webinar "ATTRIBUTING HEALTH IMPACTS TO CLIMATE CHANGE"

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How much of the observed climate-related health impacts can be actually attributed to climate change?

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Climate change is already impacting human health, and it is expected that climate-sensitive health risks will amplify over the coming decades as global warming progresses. A large body of literature found increased risk in climate-sensitive health outcomes associated to extreme weather events. However, it remains unclear on the extent of how much of the impacts observed so far can be attributed to climate change. This is what the so-called detection and attribution studies seek to address. These studies are often conducted in the climate science disciplines and rarely take the additional step of estimating associated human health impacts. Understanding the extent to which changes in historical health impacts can be attributed to anthropogenic influences of climate change (i.e. greenhouse gas emissions) is a key public health question and of great interest nowadays. This evidence is extremely valuable to support evidence-based risk management and advocacy to reduce future climate change impacts.

This webinar will provide an overview of current developments in climate change attribution and detection studies, in particular with regards to health impacts, and the potential implications of attribution and detection studies for defining the ‘cause’ in law.

Chair: Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera (Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research, University of Bern)

Speakers:

• Friederike Otto (Associate Director of The Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford) - Attributing weather and climate events.

• Kristie L. Ebi (Professor in the Center for Health and Global Environment, U Washington) - "How do we know that climate change is causing injuries, illnesses, and deaths?"

• Petra Minnerop (Associate Professor of International Law, Durham University) - "Causation in law and the findings of attribution science"

Sponsored by Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (University of Bern), Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research (University of Bern) & International Society for Environmental Epidemiology - Europe Chapter

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