Guest Editorial

Climate change, public health and COP21 – a South African perspective

Caradee Yael Wright, Mary Norval, Patricia N Albers


Current and future climate impacts on public health are a pressing global challenge. Southern Africa is predicted to experience significant changes in climate and by the end of the 21st century, annual average temperatures in the region may warm by up to 4 degrees Celsius. South Africa (SA) is considered to be among one of the most vulnerable countries in the world given the current high incidence of several life-threatening diseases, poverty and inequality. With the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change taking place this year, we consider the challenges of and opportunities for SA to accelerate progress towards tackling the adverse impacts of climate change on human health.  

Authors' affiliations

Caradee Yael Wright, South African Medical Research Council and University of Pretoria, South Africa

Mary Norval, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Patricia N Albers, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa

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Climate change; Health; COP21; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(12):997-998. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2015.v105i12.10232

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-10-20
Date published: 2015-11-03

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