How Business can Deliver Health Resilient Climate Action

The health costs associated with climate change, including conditions linked to air pollution, undernutrition, extreme weather events and infectious disease, are immense. Air pollution alone, resulting from society’s deadly addiction to coal and the burning of fossil fuels, causes one in five premature deaths globally. Climate change is already impacting the future of work in significant ways - affecting occupational safety and health as well as productivity. The International Labor Organization (ILO) is predicting that with heat stress under a 1.5°C warming scenario, 2.2% of work hours will be lost in 2030, the equivalent of 80 million full-time jobs. This makes tackling climate change the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century. Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement presents businesses across all sectors with the opportunity to deliver co-benefits for human and planetary health and improve their climate and business performance. 

Join this Academy session to learn more about the climate-nature-health nexus and hear from experts and business leaders how health risks linked to climate and nature impact businesses and why tackling these crises jointly to create health resiliency is a business opportunity. This session will provide your company with priority actions in five areas: air pollution, food systems, nature and biodiversity, water resilience and just transition. It will feature practical company examples outlining how these priority actions can help deliver climate-nature-health co-benefits.


  • Dr. Maria Neira, Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization
  • Jason Snape, Global Head of Environmental Protection, AstraZeneca
  • Anna Brodowsky, Vice President Public Affairs, Essity 
  • Ms. Mette Grangaard Lund, Technical Officer, Green Jobs Programme, International Labour Organization
  • Heidi Huusko, Senior Manager, Environment and Climate, UN Global Compact 

What we learned:

  • One fourth of global disease is generated by environment-related risks. Air pollution alone causes one in five premature deaths globally. 
  • The health costs associated with climate change are immense, and impacts on business are already being felt: heat stress leading to productivity loss, negative impact on consumer behavior, increasing supply chains disruptions and more.
  • Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement hands businesses across all sectors the opportunity to deliver co-benefits for human health, the climate and business performance. 
  • Companies need to establish a business strategy that recognizes the interdependence of health and environmental risks by conducting integrated human rights and environmental due diligence processes. 

Recommended Resources

Our action-oriented brief published in April 2021: “Tackling Climate Change is the Greatest Global Health Opportunity of the Twenty-First Century - An Empowering Business Narrative and Call for Health Resilient Climate Action”.

Forum for the Future’s Latest Report : “Driving Co-benefits for Climate and Health - How Private Sector Action Can Accelerate Progress”

Our “Business Leadership Brief for Healthy Planet, Healthy People” published back in 2018. 

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) resources to drive ambitious climate action in the private sector by setting emissions reductions targets in line with climate science: - including a great e-learning course introducing the initiative, breaking down SBTs, and showcasing some of their benefits, especially in the context of businesses. You can access the course here:

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