Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Enhancing Belmont Research Action to support EU policy making on climate change and health

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ENBEL (Enhancing Belmont Research Action to support EU policy making on climate change and health)

Berichtszeitraum: 2020-11-01 bis 2022-04-30

Climate change is according to the World Health Organization (WHO) the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century. But despite increasingly stronger calls for reframing climate change as an urgent health issue, many research communities are still operating in silos, impeding the production of genuinely integrated and evidence-based policy advice for the mitigation of climate change health risks. Awareness among policy makers on the need to step up on climate action for health protection is also still too low.

The overall aim of ENBEL (Enhancing Belmont Research Action to Support EU Policy Making on Climate Change and Health) is to achieve convergence between climate change and health research and policy making and thereby support European and global endeavours to build a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.

The ENBEL project supports EU policy making by bringing together leaders in climate change and health research and by coordinating a network of major international health and climate research projects under the Belmont Forum’s Collaborative Research Action (CRA) on Climate, Environment and Health (CEH), Societal Challenge 1 and 5 of EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, and other EU funded schemes. ENBEL aims to increase the involvement of these research projects in relevant research and policy networks, conferences and workshops, and to receive input from and improve the flow of information and knowledge on climate change and health among stakeholders and target groups, with a focus on low-and middle- income countries. ENBEL will synthesise science-based evidence on climate change and health links. The project will engage with decision-makers and stakeholder involved in climate adaptation and health policies to understand their evidence needs and translate scientific evidence from the network into targeted outputs relevant for EU, national and regional policy.
Overall, ENBEL aims to raise awareness of how climate change impacts human health. Results and outputs from the network are disseminated to decision-makers, civil society, the scientific community and the general public.
ENBEL started November 1st, 2020 and is a three-year coordination and support action project. ENBEL’s approach for enhancing the impact of research findings are a) networking , b) research syntheses , c) engaging with decision-makers focusing on Europe and Africa, d) dissemination and communication.
During the first 18 months key activities and results of ENBEL are:
1. We brought together international climate change and health researchers, experts and practitioners at a number of international conferences, workshops, symposiums and meetings to bolster the outputs of the Belmont Forum Climate, Environment and Health and EU funded projects in the network and contribute to awareness and policy advice on climate change and health links. Key conferences where we have presented include COP26 in Glasgow, the 5th European Climate Adaptation Conference (ECCA), the 14th European Public Health Conference, the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology conference (ISEE) in 2021, WHO’s Regional Consultation on Climate Change and Health and the 12th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health.
2. We have established a climate and health network in Africa, the CHANCE network (Climate-Health Africa Network for Collaboration and Engagement). It has held four digital network meetings, facilitating interaction and coherence between the climate and health community in Eastern and Southern Africa. The network includes policy makers, NGOs, researchers and other stakeholders from several different countries, including Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The first CHANCE network conference will take place in South Africa in June.
3. A library of training courses and learning materials have been collected and is made available on the ENBEL website to facilitate capacity building on climate and health links.
4. The systematic comparison of the projects in the ENBEL networks (research projects funded by the Belmont Forum CEH and the EU) helped to identify commonalities in the research methods and researched populations as well as the research gaps and future research priorities.
5. The project has engaged in stakeholder mapping in Europe and Southern/Eastern Africa, including reviews of national climate adaptation strategies and national climate adaptation plans for European countries, and meetings with the EU, WHO, national and local government stakeholders in Europe, and international decision-making networks, as well as African stakeholders, to understand evidence needs.
6. Active and strategically planned communication and dissemination activities through newsletters, podcasts, web, social media, media engagement and stakeholder meetings. Research knowledge and outputs from the network projects are disseminated through our channels and at relevant policy and scientific events contributing increased awareness of the climate and health links.
The project has brought together climate change and health researchers and research projects from different international fundings sources (mainly EU’s Horizon 2020 and Belmont Forum) and experts and created a collaborative network expected to last beyond the project period. Outputs from ENBEL will support evidence-based decision-making and help raise awareness of the health impacts of climate change.
A key potential impact is that ENBEL with coordinator Kristin Aunan (CICERO) was taken up as a member of the WHO-Civil Society Working Group to advance action on Climate and Health from 2022 to 2024. Matthew Chersich (WHC) represents ENBEL in the research subcommittee in the working group.
The CHANCE network has secured funding for additional network meetings and activities beyond the ENBEL project period through another EU Horizon Europe funded project coordinated by a partner in ENBEL contributing to enhance the impact and sustainability of the CHANCE network.
Key expected results until the end of the project include:
1. Research syntheses of scientific findings from the Belmont Forum CEH and EU -funded projects as well as identification of key climate adaptation strategies.
2. The organizing of an international scientific Belmont Forum Conference on Climate Change and Health to take place in 2023.
3. Better flow of information and knowledge on climate change and health to low and middle income countries through workshops, toolkits and collaboration with the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and their large network of national societies.
4. Gap analysis of adaptation response measures in Europe and East and Southern Africa to better understand evidence gaps.
5. Translation of scientific evidence from the network projects into targeted policy briefs and outputs relevant for EU, national and regional policy.
6. Development of a web platform for management of knowledge on health impacts of climate change from the relevant climate and health projects in the network. Innovative tools such as video, photos, interactive maps and infographics will be used. Ensure that outputs from the network are included in relevant existing platforms such as the European Climate and Health Observatory
7. Plain language summaries of project findings will make the results more accessible to the general public and non-scientific community.
8. Policy conference targeting stakeholders.
Side event organised at the WHO health Pavilion at COP26 in Glasgow November 2021
Infographic made for ENBEL newsletter and social media to highlight the health effects of heatwaves
Message from Research Director and Project Coordinator Kristin Aunan from CICERO on ENBEL
Logo made for the CHANCE network in Africa established as a part of the ENBEL project
Illustration to promote the ENBEL website when it was launched