The exchange of best practice is also of central importance in jointly facing climate change as a European community. There are no patent remedies for the right response to climate change and its consequences. Nevertheless, good ideas can be gained from the varied range of approaches in different countries, says Francesca Colombo (OECD).
Basically, there are two parallel challenges: Firstly, the general adaptation of the system to climate change with a view to new health hazards due to heat, radiation, the spread of infectious agents, weather disasters and growing fear. Secondly, the social and health sector makes a significant contribution to the problem itself by releasing greenhouse gases directly and indirectly.
There is also a knowledge problem: The challenges of adapting to climate change and solutions for mitigating emission sources through social and health systems are not yet well understood.
Moreover, climate policy and social policy have so far mainly been researched separately. There are research gaps with regard to the environmental impact of social benefits or the resilience of social security systems to climate change impacts. According to a difis study, the relationship between climate change impacts and occupational safety and health in particular is largely unexplored1. Research and knowledge gaps exist on how to adapt appropriately to climate change, the sources of CO2 emissions, ways to minimise the CO2 footprint in the social sector, and many instrumental action-effect relationships.