Climate action

SDG 13 - Climate action

SDG 13 aims to take action to combat climate change and its impacts. Climate change is disrupting economies and affecting lives all over the world. The potential health impacts of the climate crisis and its increasing variability are wide-ranging from the loss of well-being to the occurrence of disease and death. Temperature increases directly impact global health through heat-waves, storms, forest fires, floods, and droughts. Indirect impacts can arise from the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystems, agriculture, and quality of food. Global warming is already having a serious impact on health as it threatens clean air, safe drinking water, food supply, and safe shelter. Beyond that, climate change has led to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, ice melting, and permafrost thawing.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can provide immediate benefits for health, the economy, and society by saving lives, reducing diseases, and increasing societal well-being. Global warming is predicted to lead to an increase in migration, conflicts over natural resources, and political instability in the near future. Thus, it has an impact on the economic, environmental, and social determinants of public health. The Paris Agreement, signed in 2016, sets ambitious aims to diminish greenhouse gas emissions but also commits countries to strengthen adaptation. Accordingly, prevention, protection, and response measures urgently need to be scaled up. This includes implementing plans to protect human health from the impacts of climate change.


Miriam Kull
PhD student
University of Basel