Kliniken & Institute … Institute Heidelberger Institut… Groups & Projects Working Groups Climate Change and… Research

Climate Change and Health Working Group


1) Impacts of climate change

Focus of our group:
We first focused on all-cause mortality in low income countries with a UNESCO funded project:


In terms of diseases/disorders, as well as on disease-specific impacts on malaria, dengue, malnutrition heat and non-communicable diseases (as a group, specifically on stroke and asthma/COPD). Regarding vulnerable groups: we particularly study the effect on the elderly (Germany, Burkina Faso), women and children under 5.

A pilot project for the attribution of malnutrition to climate change is Project NUTRICLIM. It compares the nutritional status of households across several years linking it to preceding weather, to harvest yields of at the household plot level, as well as to a myriad of socio-economic factors characterizing the households. publichealthreviews.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40985-016-0031-6

Publications: 47,45,38,37,36,31,32,30,29,28,27,23,20,16,15,14,13,12,9,8,7,2

2) Adaptation

Focus of our group:
In our EMIRA Project (Ecological Management of Malaria in Africa), we develop and adapt targeted treatment of surface water with the biological larvicide BTI. This is currently weather and satellite guided and can in the future be linked to climate projections.

The PALUCLIM project developed and validated the methods applied in EMIRA. It was a cooperation project of Heidelberg university with several French partners: the French Space Agency (Centre National des Études Spatiales, Toulouse), Météo France and the Université de Toulouse. It was funded by the French "Programm Gestion et Impacts du Changement Climatique".

Publications: 47, 43, 40,35,34,33,32,25,24,17,14,5,1

3) Health co-benefits of mitigation

Focus of our group:
Project HOPE studies in a randomized community trial, whether households in European high-income countries are more likely to engage in reducing their carbon foot-print, if they are given information on the health benefits they reap while engaging in climate-friendly behavior. For each of 65 options a household has to reduce their carbon footprint, the respondents were given the information on the net costs, the carbon savings and, if applicable, the health benefits of the respective behavior change.


For further information see:
Methods, Preferences, Reasons, Health, Policy

Publications: 44,41,32,19,18,11

4) Communicating health to promote climate policy

Focus of our group:
We analyze the role of the health argument in the scientific literature, in the IPCC reports, in climate legislation both in Europe and globally as well as in print and social media. We do this in close collaboration with the Centre Virchow Villermé de Santé Publique, which belongs to the Université Paris Descartes, which in turn is part of the Université Sorbonne Paris-Cité.

Publications: 44,42,41,39,26,22,21

5) Reducing the carbon footprint of health sector

Focus of our group:
We have set up a working group including the Heidelberg University Hospital Pharmacy, a local consulting firm specialized in Carbon foot print assessment (https://www.ifeu.de) and a major pharmaceutical company, Sanofi in order to quantify and attribute the emissions of drugs along the long chain of value added from suppliers of drug companies to hospital patients and the final waste management of pharmaceuticals.

Publications: None yet, group started a year ago