EPA Climate change lecture: climate change and health- moving from paralysis to pragmatism

Date released: April 22, 2024

22nd April 2024: The next lecture in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Change lecture series will be delivered by Professor Lea Berrang Ford, Deputy Director at the UK Health Security Agency. 

This lecture, entitled ‘Climate change and health: from paralysis to pragmatism’, will provide an overview of the landscape of climate change and health including risks, intervention opportunities and state of the evidence. It will address the challenge of coordinating research and governance and move from ‘paralysis to pragmatism’ in the face of daunting and uncertain climate change and health risks. 

Welcoming Professor Berrang Ford, Laura Burke, Director General, EPA said:

“We are delighted to welcome Professor Berrang Ford to give the first EPA Climate Lecture of 2024 on the topic of climate change and health. Climate change will have wide ranging global consequences for human health, arising from extreme weather events such as heatwaves, storms and flooding, increasing suitability of regions for invasive species, implications for mental health, and impacts on antimicrobial resistance. 

She added:

“Ireland’s Climate Change Assessment highlights the climate-related health impacts and the opportunities that face Ireland. Effective climate action in response to this challenge will make us more resilient to the coming changes and bring benefits for individuals, public health, and society.”

Professor Berrang Ford will draw on the experience of the new Centre for Climate and Health Security within the UK Health Security Agency and will lay out an optimistic vision for how public health and environmental agencies begin to respond and prepare for the grand challenge of climate change threats to health.

The public lecture will take place on 23rd April at 6:30pm at The Banking Hall in the College Green Hotel Dublin and will also be streamed online. This free event requires registration through the following link. The event will also be recorded and uploaded to the EPA YouTube channel.

This lecture forms part of the National Dialogue on Climate Action. 

People can also follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #ClimateLecture2024.

Further information: Niamh Hatchell/ Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or media@epa.ie

Notes to Editor:

Professor Lea Berrang Ford is Head of the UKHSA Centre for Climate and Health Security and a Research Chair in Climate and Health at the Priestley International Centre for Climate. She is an expert in climate change impacts on health, adaptation to the health effects of climate change, and the health implications of decarbonisation.

Prof. Berrang Ford was a Lead Author on the 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report, is a co-author on the 2022 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change, and led the Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative, an international collaboration of >125 scientists to assess evidence on progress on global adaptation to climate change. 

She has led international, interdisciplinary projects on climate and health for over a decade, working with a range of global research and policy partners, in particular in Uganda, Peru, and the Canadian Arctic. Berrang Ford is a former Research Chair in Climate and Health with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and former a Royal Society Wolfson Research Fellow.