Maria Neira delivering the second Sciana Lecture

Maria Neira discusses relationship between climate change and public health

Director from World Health Organization delivers second Sciana Lecture

Sciana Members have been inspired to stand up and have their voices heard, following a Sciana Lecture by Maria Neira, director of the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at the World Health Organization.

Neira delivered her talk on “Climate Change and Health” in November 2019, during the fourth meeting of the Sciana 2018 cohort, and the second meeting of the Sciana 2019 cohort.

Speaking at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, she advised members to think about their level of ambition in public health and aim high. There are no limits to what members could achieve, she argued.

The Health in All Policies movement continues to carry influence, but this is not a reason to become complacent or remain patient. Now is the time to have the right arguments in place to prepare for forthcoming transitions, Neira warned.

From digitalisation to equity, from demographics to energy, from urbanisation to food revolution – these are just some of the challenging transitions Neira believes we can expect in the years to come.

Neira called on leaders in health and health care to feel empowered and use their voices, particularly in conversations relating to climate change and the environment.

Tackling climate change is not just an environmental matter; it’s a public health issue. Improving the health of populations can be the “best motivation” to elevate action on climate change, according to Neira.

Watch Neira’s talk in full below.