Risks and solutions: how climate change is impacting our water and health

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Climate, Energy & Natural Resources
Friends of Europe Risks and solutions: how climate change is impacting our water and health 2024


In Europe, the climate is changing quickly. Extreme weather events that have taken place over recent years offer an indication of what is to come under future warming conditions.

Climate change impacts the water cycle, causing flooding, water scarcity and drought. In addition, climate-related changes in water quality threaten human health. All of the above could become more severe and far-reaching in the future without greater adaptation measures.

More frequent and intensive flooding has cost lives and livelihoods across Europe, while at the same time, more than 50% of the continent has, in recent years, been affected by extreme drought conditions, which also breed a range of negative social, economic and human outcomes.

However, there are solutions that can be applied to reduce and prevent the serious health impacts resulting from these climate-related changes.

At this event, Leena Ylä-Mononen, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA), will present a new report: “Responding to climate change impacts on human health in Europe: focus on floods, droughts and water quality”.

This report, produced by the EEA under the European Climate and Health Observatory initiative, aims to help policy-makers understand the ways in which floods, droughts and worsened water quality under a changing climate, impact human health and well-being.

We will also welcome senior representatives from the European Commission, and other key stakeholders, who will consider the policy responses to improve climate adaptation measures and enhance our climate resilience.

Participants are welcome to join the conversation and engage with our panel. Ask your questions here

This event will take place in Brussels and will also be available to a wider audience via livestream. Follow us on X, LinkedIn, Instagram, and join the #FoEDebate discussion!

Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact us.

PHOTO CREDIT: Shutterstock/luchschenF



Risks and Solutions: How climate change is impacting our water and health
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Photo of Lisbeth Hall
Lisbeth Hall

Senior advisor at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

Show more information on Lisbeth Hall

Lisbeth Hall has a background in environmental health sciences and toxicology. Her work focuses on the health risks of climate change and on ensuring that health impacts and co-benefits are addressed in adaptation and mitigation measures. She is currently involved in the national assessment of health effects of climate change and in developing a set of indicators. Hall’s work supports Dutch Ministries and regional Public Health Services. Internationally, she works closely with counterparts through the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) committee on Public Health and Climate Change and the WHO working group Health in Climate Change.

Guy Howard
Guy Howard

Director of the Cabot Institute for the Environment and Professor of Infrastructure and Environmental Resilience at the University of Bristol

Show more information on Guy Howard

Guy Howard’s research focuses on climate resilience of water and sanitation services, as well as health systems, water quality and environmental influences on public health, and adaptation to environmental change in mountains and communities. He has developed new metrics for assessing resilience and supported the integration of climate resilience into the work of the Protocol on Water and Health. Previously, Howard worked at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), including as the policy lead for the UKAid programme on water and sanitation.

Elena Višnar Malinovská
Elena Višnar Malinovská

Head of the climate adaptation & resilience Unit at the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA)

Show more information on Elena Višnar Malinovská

Elena Višnar Malinovská is the Head of the climate adaptation & resilience Unit at the European Commission’s DG CLIMA. In her role, she leads the work on the EU strategy on climate adaptation, the Horizon Europe Mission on adaptation and first European Climate Risk Assessment.

Photo of Leena Ylä-Mononen
Leena Ylä-Mononen

Executive Director at the European Environment Agency (EEA)

Show more information on Leena Ylä-Mononen

Leena Ylä-Mononen has worked with national, European and international environmental policy and administration for over 30 years. Before joining the EEA, Ylä-Mononen was director general at the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, where she was in charge of the Ministry’s Climate and Environmental Protection Department, dealing with environmental policy issues and EU files. Prior to joining the Ministry Ylä-Mononen worked in management positions at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki, first as a head of unit and then as one of the directors. She also worked at the European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment, on policy files related to chemicals, pesticides and multilateral environmental agreements related to chemicals.

Photo of Philippe Roux
Philippe Roux

Acting Director for Public Health, Cancer and Health Security at the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)

Show more information on Philippe Roux

Philippe Roux started his career in the French social sector in 1985 while studying social sciences, European law and public health. He joined the European Commission and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction in 1998. In 2005, he came back to the European Commission as Coordinator of the Diet, Physical Activity and Health European Platform, before being appointed Head of the Units ‘Country Knowledge and Scientific Committees’ (2016), ‘Health Information and Integration in all Policies’ (2020) and ‘Cancer, Health in all Policies’ (2022). In 2021, he was one of the driving forces for setting up the European Climate and Health Observatory. Since September 2023, Mr. Roux has been the Acting Director of ‘Public Health, Cancer and Health Security’.

Guido Schmidt

Senior Policy Expert at Fresh Thoughts Consulting GmbH

Show more information on Guido Schmidt

Guido Schmidt is a German PhD in environmental engineering who currently works as Senior Policy Expert at Fresh Thoughts Consulting GmbH. Schimdt has 30 years’ experience in better understanding, preventing and solving water and environmental problems and conflicts. He has worked on water management and climate adaptation and cross-cutting topics, such as public and stakeholder involvement and international cooperation in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Photo of Oliver Schmoll
Oliver Schmoll

Programme Manager for, Water and Climate at the World Health Organization (WHO) European Centre for Environment and Health, WHO Regional Office for Europe

Show more information on Oliver Schmoll

Oliver Schmoll manages the Water and Climate Programme at the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health in Bonn, Germany. He oversees the work of the WHO Regional Office for Europe on climate change adaptation and health, and on water, sanitation and hygiene. Schmoll coordinates policy advice and technical support to WHO member states, and directs the development of evidence-based guidelines and tools. He is also Co-Secretary of the UNECE-WHO/Europe Protocol on Water and Health. An environmental engineer, Schmoll has more than 25 years of professional experience in the field of environment and health, in both national and international contexts.



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