WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is
responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting
norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and
monitoring and assessing health trends.
In May 2008, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a resolution (WHA 61.19) on
climate change and health that provides a framework for action for national governments and for WHO to
address linkages between health and climate change. The resolution calls for the health sector to
scale-up adaptation projects; raise awareness of the impacts on health from climate change at national and
international levels; and boost political attention and awareness.
In response to the resolution, WHO has consulted with Member States, and prepared a workplan, which was
adopted by the 124th WHO Executive Board in January 2009. In meeting the objectives of the workplan, WHO
- Carry out advocacy and raise awareness of the health implications of climate change
- Engage in partnerships with other United Nations organizations and sectors other than the health sector,
to ensure that health protection and health promotion are central to climate change
- Promote and support the generation of scientific evidence on the links between climate change and
- Strengthen health systems to cope with the health threats posed by climate change
Moreover, following the initiatives of the UN Secretary-General and the Chief Executive Board (CEB), WHO is
currently implementing a global framework to facilitate the reduction of the carbon footprint of all WHO
offices and operations, and to promote best practice among health systems globally.