Reflections on High-Level Conference Panel Discussion: Unraveling Climate Change’s Impact on Health

At the recent “Research Perspectives on the Health Impacts of Climate Change” conference in Brussels, experts convened to address the critical intersection of climate change and public health. Among them was Warner van Kersen, a post-doctoral researcher from the University of Oulu and a key contributor to the TRIGGER project.

Van Kersen’s panel discussion delved into TRIGGER‘s ambitious Horizon 2020 project, which aims to comprehensively investigate the intricate relationship between climate change and cardiovascular and respiratory health. He emphasized the project’s holistic approach, involving stakeholders from diverse backgrounds in both research and dissemination efforts.

Highlighting analytical challenges within TRIGGER, van Kersen outlined efforts to develop a robust method for assessing climate change exposure. Despite the complexity of correlating climatic indicators with health outcomes, TRIGGER employs innovative statistical methods borrowed from social sciences to tackle these challenges effectively.

The response to van Kersen’s insights was overwhelmingly positive, with numerous invitations pouring in from colleagues worldwide. This support is crucial as TRIGGER expands its climate change exposure assessment beyond Finland to validate its approach across various climatic regions.

Van Kersen also shared the panel with five distinguished young researchers, each offering unique perspectives on climate change’s health impacts. While the conference provided valuable insights, van Kersen noted a missed opportunity for deeper scientific discourse, particularly regarding data presentation.

In retrospect, the conference was a fruitful platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange, underscoring the urgency of addressing climate change’s health ramifications from multiple angles.