Medical knowledge about the direct effects of climate change on health has now grown. In the world of work, in contrast, the link between climate change impacts and health is not quite as far advanced. Where necessary, it must be reworked in a targeted manner and more knowledge must be generated. This is where the EU should continue to join forces.
The resilience of social schemes relates to shocks. This had been clearly demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic and had released forces to stabilise European systems, make them adaptable and prepare them for future health threats within the framework of a European Health Union. Climate change is also such a shock.
However, while social objectives are already taken into account in climate policy, climate policy objectives are still far less anchored in social policy. This must be done, because the risks to health are increasing and care must adapt to changing situations in terms of medicine, nursing, personnel and structure. This is a challenge for all stakeholders. This also applies to the need to reduce one’s own CO2 emissions.
Digitisation will also make its contribution here. However, it is only one tool in the toolbox needed to effectively mitigate climate change impacts and make health and social systems resilient. The digital transformation of societies and social security systems poses its own challenges.
Change can be frightening. This does not only apply to climate change. It applies just as much to the digital transformation. There was unanimous agreement at the German Social Insurance (DSV) conference; people need to be taken along. Communication can help raise awareness of the issue, empower people to act, motivate them to take action and increase acceptance of measures, even if they are sometimes associated with disadvantages for the individual. Communication will play a role in determining how well the transformation processes are managed.