LONDON and DALIAN, 24 June 2024 – Global strategy consultancy L.E.K. Consulting, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, has published a report outlining the top four most critical areas requiring immediate action to address the increased health risks posed by climate change. The ‘Health Impacts of Climate Change: Evidence Landscape and Role of Private Sector’ report emphasises an urgent need to confront climate change as a profound health crisis that threatens to exacerbate poverty, and fragility, and deteriorate health conditions for millions worldwide.

As the global community faces the escalating urgency of developing responsible strategies to mitigate the climate crisis, it is imperative for stakeholders, including the private sector, to strategically allocate resources towards effective initiatives. This report prioritises and narrows the focus on a select range of target areas for the private sector to streamline its efforts, allocate resources efficiently and drive meaningful change at scale.

The Four Critical Areas Requiring Immediate Action to Address Climate-Related Health Risks

  • Extreme Weather Events: Affecting approximately 189 million people annually, developing countries have borne the brunt with 79% of recorded deaths and 97% of the total affected population since 1991.
  • Air Quality: Air pollution causes 6.7 million premature deaths globally each year, disproportionately impacting urban populations, particularly in low- and middle-income countries in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific Region.
  • Food and Water Risks: Food insecurity affects 2.3 billion people globally, with 60% of the population in low-income countries affected. Additionally, 2 billion people lack access to clean water, severely impacting low-income communities.
  • Infectious Agents: Nearly 14 million global deaths annually are infection-related, with over half of these diseases exacerbated by climate change.

"The health impacts of climate change are multifaceted and have deep ramifications across different sectors, particularly in regions like Asia where vulnerabilities are acute," said Helen Chen, Global Sector Co-Head for Healthcare and Greater China Managing Partner at L.E.K. Consulting. “To effectively address the impact of climate change on social inequality, we must first focus on rectifying any pre-existing inequities, ensuring that the most vulnerable communities receive adequate support and empowerment to withstand the challenges posed by the changing climate.”

The report calls for an immediate and coordinated response to tackle these four areas, stressing the importance of engaging in a cross-sectoral collaboration between the private and public sectors to respond to the health impacts of climate change effectively. This will be done through securing funding, improving infrastructure, enacting policy changes, and engaging communities in adopting resilient approaches. While the private sector plays a crucial role in addressing these challenges, collaboration with the public sector, NGOs, and academia has to be part of the solution. Intervention must also account for the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations, including women, children, the elderly, and those in rural and disaster-prone areas, which require targeted actions.

Verena Ahnert, Partner at L.E.K. Consulting, said, “Climate change is no longer a distant threat but an immediate reality demanding urgent attention. As the report notes, we need a unified global effort to mitigate these health risks and promote the development of community resilience against natural disasters and resource scarcity. By addressing the broad spectrum of climate change impacts on global health, we can safeguard today’s vulnerable populations and ensure a healthier future for generations to come.”

About the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2024
The 15th Annual Meeting of the New Champions will be held from 25 to 27 June, in Dalian under the theme, “Next Frontiers for Growth”. Over 1,500 high-level leaders from business, government, civil society, and international organisations will gather to generate collective insights and deployable solutions to spur and maintain positive economic momentum globally.

About L.E.K. Consulting
We're L.E.K. Consulting, a global strategy consultancy working with business leaders to seize competitive advantage and amplify growth. Our insights are catalysts that reshape the trajectory of our clients' businesses, uncovering opportunities and empowering them to master their moments of truth. Since 1983, our worldwide practice — spanning the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe — has guided leaders across all industries, from global corporations to emerging entrepreneurial businesses and private equity investors. Looking for more? Visit

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SOURCE: L.E.K. Consulting, World Economic Forum