Changes in the global climate will significantly affect the health of humans, resulting in worldwide economic consequences, according to a recent study by the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, in conjunction with Swiss Re and the United Nations Development Program. The insurance industry will be at the center of this issue, absorbing risk and helping society and businesses to adapt and reduce new risks, the study contends.

“We found that impacts of climate change are likely to lead to ramifications that overlap in several areas, including our health, our economy, and the natural systems on which we depend,” said Paul Epstein, the study’s lead author and associate director of the center. “A comparable event would be the aftermath of flooding, contamination, and homelessness witnessed after Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf coast in August. Analysis of the potential ripple effects stemming from an unstable climate shows the need for more sustainable practices to safeguard and ensure a healthy future.”

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