Climate Change and Infectious Disease Risk in Western Europe: A Survey of Dutch Expert Opinion on Adaptation Responses and Actors

Su-Mia Akin*, Pim Martens, Maud M. T. E. Huynen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

There is growing evidence of climate change affecting infectious disease risk in Western Europe. The call for effective adaptation to this challenge becomes increasingly stronger. This paper presents the results of a survey exploring Dutch expert perspectives on adaptation responses to climate change impacts on infectious disease risk in Western Europe. Additionally, the survey explores the expert sample's prioritization of mitigation and adaptation, and expert views on the willingness and capacity of relevant actors to respond to climate change. An integrated view on the causation of infectious disease risk is employed, including multiple (climatic and non-climatic) factors. The results show that the experts consider some adaptation responses as relatively more cost-effective, like fostering interagency and community partnerships, or beneficial to health, such as outbreak investigation and response. Expert opinions converge and diverge for different adaptation responses. Regarding the prioritization of mitigation and adaptation responses expert perspectives converge towards a 50/50 budgetary allocation. The experts consider the national government/health authority as the most capable actor to respond to climate change-induced infectious disease risk. Divergence and consensus among expert opinions can influence adaptation policy processes. Further research is necessary to uncover prevailing expert perspectives and their roots, and compare these.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9726-9749
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

Keywords

  • climate change
  • public health
  • infectious diseases
  • climate change adaptation

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