In this four-year project supported by Wellcome, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is working alongside global partners to develop a transparent and globally usable framework and technical platform for official statistics on climate change, environment, and health.

About the project

The Climate and Health in Official Statistics project is a four-year (2022 to 2026) collaboration between the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Rwanda, the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) at the University of Ghana, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Cochrane Climate-Health Working Group (hosted at University of Alberta). We are also working with the UN Global Data Platform and DataKind to develop innovative solutions for sharing climate health metrics. The project is financially supported by Wellcome.

The aim is to develop a transparent and globally usable framework and platform for official statistics on climate change, environment, and health. This will be achieved by developing a set of statistical methods to better estimate climate-related health risk using real-world data sources, including modelling local-level impacts. This project is being developed jointly with our Africa-based research partners and integrates the generalisable framework with their national context, while promoting long-term capacity development. It also aims to stimulate research in the climate and health field to address areas where evidence is so far lacking.

There are 11 topics that we will cover:

  • extreme weather events
  • zoonoses
  • water-related health impacts
  • non-communicable diseases
  • respiratory illnesses and air pollution
  • vector-borne diseases
  • malnutrition and food-borne diseases
  • health care systems and facilities
  • heat- and cold-related mortality
  • exposure to chemical contaminants
  • mental and psychosocial health

The outputs of the project will help stakeholders produce high-quality data and statistics and communicate with a range of audiences. Users will include government and non-governmental organisation (NGO) decision-makers who will be able to access the information they need to guide interventions in a clearer, more comprehensive and consistent way, therefore creating more targeted actions. Producers of official statistics, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), ability to monitor the effects of climate change will be increased by the provision of practical, coherent standards and open-source tools. Producers and consumers of climate change research will also benefit from faster study development based on shared approaches and a more consistent “language” for communication of findings. Ultimately these benefits will translate into a better-informed international community and more effective, evidence-based climate change interventions.

Project timeline

Following the project start in February 2022, our first year involved defining the scope of the climate and health indicators and forming a global network of partnerships. During years two and three, the project will develop and test our framework through a collaborative approach. The final year will focus on promotion, training and securing a sustainable long-term solution by project completion in March 2026.

About our funder

This project is led by the UK Office for National Statistics and funded by Wellcome (Grant number 224682/Z/21/Z).

About our partners

  • AIMS Rwanda, established in 2016, is a Centre of Excellence for postgraduate training in mathematical sciences and research; it is part of a pan-African network of other institutions under AIMS.

  • RIPS at the University of Ghana is an institute for research and training in population and health sciences.

  • UKHSA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care; it is responsible for protecting the UK’s health security by providing scientific and operational leadership at local, national and global levels.

  • Cochrane Climate-Health Working Group provides an important role in preparing and disseminating evidence syntheses relevant to the health impacts of climate change.

In addition to our partners above, we are also working alongside the UN Global Platform to host our online platform. We are also working with DataKind to develop methods for pairing climate and health data that will be integrated into our platform.

We work with leading experts in the field of climate research. We have an expert advisory group, chaired by Professor Sir Andy Haines of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), with experts from academia and other global stakeholders.

Previous events


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For further information, please contact the Climate and Health team using: climate.health@ons.gov.uk.

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Related links

Climate-related mortality, England and Wales: 1988 to 2022
Article | released 22 September 2023
This publication reports the relative risk of death associated with temperature for England and Wales from 1988 to 2022.

Expert Comment – climate-related mortality England and Wales: 1988 to 2022
Article | released 22 September 2023
Professor Antonio Gasparrini of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine provides comments on our climate-related mortality publication.