Skip to Main Content


Climate change represents the greatest public health challenge of the 21st century.

Climate change has profound implications for human health, today and in the future. The 2022 Global Report of the Lancet Countdown:

  • the effects of climate change are being felt today, and future projections represent an unacceptably high and potentially catastrophic risk to human health
  • tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century
  • the health community has a vital part to play in accelerating progress to address climate change

Current or projected health effects of climate change include:

  • increased morbidity and mortality from heat waves, droughts, floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters
  • increased incidence of food-borne, water-borne, and vector-borne diseases
  • increased under-nutrition and food insecurity
  • increased incidence and severity of asthma and other respiratory diseases
  • violent conflict resulting from competition among nations for scarcer resources
  • climate refugees displaced by violent conflict, rising sea levels, or economic scarcity, with associated refugee health issues

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions will result in important health co-benefits:

  • Decreased fossil fuel burning will reduce harmful air pollutants.
  • A shift from animal agriculture (a major source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas) toward plant agriculture will result in a healthier diet.
  • Improved infrastructure for walking, bicycling, and public transportation will increase physical activity.
  • Decreased fossil fuel extraction will reduce occupational and environmental hazards.

Our work

The Yale Center on Climate Change and Health (CCCH) utilizes research, education, public health practice, and service to help achieve a world with a stable and safe climate; one in which the public’s health and diverse ecosystems can thrive. CCCH works to:
  1. facilitate innovative interdisciplinary research to understand the health impacts of climate change and of human activities that cause climate change, and to develop mitigation and adaptation solutions;
  2. provide a comprehensive educational program in climate change and health that trains future leaders;
  3. utilize public health science to support governmental and civil society efforts to mitigate or strategically adapt to climate change and to achieve climate justice; and
  4. contribute to local, national, and international scholarly efforts to summarize and track the effects of climate change on health, along with progress toward solutions.


A world in which the health benefits of climate action are fully realized for all people.


To promote health and protect all people, especially vulnerable populations, in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts through high-impact research, education, policy, and practice.


  • Innovation – We commit to leadership in the field of climate change and health through innovative thinking, methodologies, partnerships, and applications.
  • Collaboration – We work to build respectful and sustainable collaborations with academic, government, civil society, and community partners.
  • Justice – We integrate health equity and social justice throughout our work, recognizing and addressing the disparate health impacts of climate change.
  • Community – We aim to nurture a diverse, vibrant, and welcoming culture for staff, faculty, students, alumni, and partners.