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The Impact of Climate Change on Public Health

Explore the impact of climate change on public health, and discover ways to influence behaviours and policies at all levels.

2,530 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Explore the direct and indirect ways that climate change affects health

This online course gives you the opportunity to explore the impact of climate change on public health. It shares knowledge of both the direct and indirect ways in which climate change is affecting health around the globe.

It starts by examining current trends in climate change and the methods used to evaluate the continuously emerging data in this field. You will find out how to leverage the data that is publicly available, to campaign for changes to behaviours or policies, at both a local and regional level.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 16 seconds So many people will be familiar with the most obvious effect of climate change like increasing temperatures. Sea level rise but can these things really affect human health. What’s the evidence that that these types of climatic changes can really have an impact on public health. So I think environmental changes are huge driver for biological systems affecting genes to species to entire ecosystems and ultimately human health. And I think this makes climate change one of the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Broadly speaking you can think of it as being three systems. We’ve got the climate system.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 seconds We’ve got natural systems and we’ve got the human system and it’s the way that these three systems interact that tells us how climate change might ultimately impact human health. There’s already been a change of one degree in global mean temperatures and health impacts are already accruing. There are already people being exposed to heat waves. There are already vulnerable populations feeling the effects of climate change. There’s never been a better time to act on climate change than now. There’s never been a cheaper time to act on climate change than now climate change is here.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds Climate change is real and it’s time that individuals, companies, governments, politicians step up to the plate in the spirit of the Paris agreement and work out a way to confront this global societal challenge. It’s a great time to be thinking about solutions to climate change it’s a great time to be thinking about how we can live healthier and happier lives and at the same time battling climate change and emissions causing climate change.

What topics will you cover?

  • What are the climate change themes and trends in relation to public health and is there anything we can do to improve things?
  • Who are the key contributors to climate change, what are they doing and how are their harmful activities being countered?
  • How can we prove that the impact on health is linked to climate change?
  • How to implement an action plan to improve health outcomes impacted by climate change

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Recognise the relationship between climate change and health and the associated themes and trends.
  • Understand the nature of complex problems resulting from interconnected social, political, and climate change issues, and the associated challenges.
  • Articulate key public health concepts related to climate change and describe how they are likely to exacerbate existing problems of social and health inequality.
  • Analyse the continuously emerging and publically available data for climate/health using applicable methods and tools for examining big data.
  • Evaluate the impact of implementing a specific action (locally, regionally, nationally, internationally) on a specific health indicator.
  • Identify your own role as a climate change campaigner and the ways to overcome personal, social, political or organisational barriers to change.
  • Create an action plan to effect change further to insight (e.g. from data and collaboration)

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for anyone interested in climate change or health, particularly those working in public or private healthcare organisations or academic research in this area.

Who will you learn with?

I am a chartered engineer, and my research interests are centred on digital health and its application to global public health challenges.

I am an ecologist with interests in global change, conservation and health. I work on problems where these key themes are interconnected.

Who developed the course?

EIT InnoEnergy

EIT InnoEnergy is the European company promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and education in sustainable energy.

EIT Health

EIT Health promotes healthy living, active ageing and improvements in healthcare.

Endorsers and supporters

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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