The climate is changing and this process will continue in the coming years. Climate change has an effect on people's health. Examples of effects include increases in heat stress, changes in air and water quality, and an increase in infectious diseases and allergies. Various measures are being taken to prevent further climate change (mitigation) or measures to limit its negative effects (adaptation). On this page, RIVM brings together the scientific knowledge on this subject, starting with adaptation.
Not only climate change itself has an impact on health, adaptation measures also have an impact. These effects can be both positive and negative. A well-known adaptation measure is increasing green space in public areas such as trees and plants. Positive effects of this intervention include more shade and, therefore cooling and more space for recreation. However, an adverse effect may be that more pollen are released into the air, which can aggravate allergies.
It is important to consider both the positive and negative effects when choosing and implementing adaptation measures. RIVM is researching these effects and advises professionals from GGD Municipal Health Services and governments on which measures to take to limit the adverse effects and promote the positive ones. There is a specific need to gain insight into the magnitude of these effects. RIVM has looked at what quantitative research has been done on the impact of adaptation measures on health. This website summarises these studies under four themes; green, blue, urban and social adaptation (in Dutch).
It is important to realise that studies focusing specifically on the effect of adaptation measures on health have been looked at. The general effects of green and blue in the urban area have been excluded. Many more studies have been done on these topics. The studies summarised here focus only on the health effects of adaptation.
In doing so, scientific studies from around the world were considered. Studies from abroad are not always directly applicable to the Dutch situation. This website is intended to provide an overview and insight into the order of magnitude of effects. However, more research is needed to confirm whether effects will occur to the same extent in the Netherlands.