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Health and climate
action needed
#healthcop21

The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change

The Lancet, in partnership with the University College London, published in June a report on the effects of climate change on public health. This research, made by a multidisciplinary team of European and Chinese researchers, sums up already existing effects of climate change and future projection representing « an unacceptable high and potentially catastrophic risk to human health."

If the direct impacts of global warming and natural disasters are widely known, general public is less aware of the dramatic consequences for health of indirect effects. In addition to the thousands of deaths due to natural disasters, floodings and droughts, climate change will create favorable conditions for the deepening and spread of mosquitoes vector of infectious diseases such as dengue or malaria in new areas. Also, increased air and drinking water pollution and heightened population movements will increase the risk of infections such as cholera.

Beyond this sad analysis, the Lancet Report is suggesting concrete measures for international government to protect public health, split in two categories: cut greenhouse gas emission and better adapt our ways of living to the already existing consequences of pollution. Phase out coal, create new cities made for pedestrians, promote healthier sustainable local diets, active transport such as cycling, could not only have a beneficial impact on climate change but also reduce obesity, diabetes or heart diseases.

Fighting against climate change is not only an emergency but also a great opportunity to improve our lifestyle and to better protect public health.

For this reason, Sanofi is an official partner of COP21 and is committed long-term to take actions to prevent and address the consequences of climate change on health.

The 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) was officially opened in Paris by French President François Hollande, on Monday, November 30. Its objective is to reach an international agreement to keep the increase in global warming below 2° C.

Health: The Glaring Omission
at COP21

To confront the challenge that threatens the progress made over the last 50 years in development and global health, Sanofi as a Life Sciences company has to provide solutions to prevent and respond to the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on health. This includes the development of medicines and vaccines to address the health risks of diseases such as dengue or malaria. Beyond the treatment or cure, Sanofi takes action in the field alongside its partners, working with local stakeholders to help individuals protect themselves against these diseases. The Group also contributes to increasing awareness of the impacts of climate change on health and is working to put it on the public agenda. Sanofi is also commited to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% between 2010 and 2020 on its industrial and research & development sites. In 2014, Sanofi has reduced its CO2 emissions by 15% compared to 2010.

« The list of predicted humanitarian disasters and threats to the health of people around the world is a long one. The entire health community needs to be mobilized urgently. We need to engage both public and private stakeholders, starting with life sciences companies, who are responsible for contributing to the advancement of health. If we act now, we can mitigate the consequences of climate change on the health of the world's population. Health must not be excluded from the COP21 agenda. »

Olivier Brandicourt, CEO, Sanofi
Read the tribune on the Huffington Post

OUR

OPINION

Climate change is
an important factor to consider,
because it creates health issues
and has an impact
on the geographic development

Because of climate change, infectious diseases, such as malaria, dengue or cholera, will emerge and increase in certain parts of the world that are, until now, not exposed. The global warming extends gradually the survival zones of mosquitoes carrying parasites responsible for such diseases, like the Asian tiger mosquitoes that hand on dengue and chikungunya, and have already made it to the east coast of United States.

18

French departments
are already overrunned by Asian tiger mosquitoes

Today over half of the world’s population
is exposed to dengue

Global warming will increase the geographic scope of dengue fever, as well as its incidences, which have multiplied by a factor of thirty since 1960. Since there is no cure against dengue fever Sanofi has to concentrate its efforts on prevention through three axes: vaccination, vector control - by reducing the number of the Asian tiger mosquitoes, and education of the population through prevention strategies.

2.5

billion human beings
are exposed to dengue
worldwide (WHO)

The health gap between the North
and the South will worsen with climate change

Countries that face today the most critical health problems are also the most exposed to the consequences of climate change. Global warming will lead to important droughts and a decrease in food resources in vulnerable areas, like sub-Saharan Africa. Populations that already suffer from a lake of access to healthcare, will also be exposed to many health issues, as the populations of the highlands in South America who might experience malaria someday.

x 14

risk of death
is higher for
women and children

A dual challenge: adaptation and reduction of climate change’s impacts

Global warming, due to human greenhouse gases emissions, will lead to important upheavals and modifications of a certain number of elements we have relied upon until now. Climate change affects nutrition, as well as drinking water quantity and quality, which will create serious health issues and psychological stress among the most exposed populations. Furthermore, the important human migrations, due to climates crises, will increase the risk of infectious diseases transmissions.

20%

of greenhouse
gases products by Sanofi
will no longer
be aired by 2020

Malaria
a deadly disease
influenced by climate change

Malaria is one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world. In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there were 198 million cases of malaria and 584,000 deaths caused by this disease. It is particularly present in Africa where a child dies of malaria every minute.

The disease spreads in regions with high humidity and warm weather, ideal conditions for the multiplication and quick development of the Anopheles mosquito, vector of malaria. The warmer the temperature, the quicker the mosquitoes multiply and develop their infectious capacity. Therefore climate as an important impact on the transmission of the disease and its epidemic risk.

To fight this major health threat, Sanofi is engaged in several initiatives. The Group promotes access to treatment at affordable prices in the areas most affected by malaria. In 2007, Sanofi developed one of the leading malarial drugs, under a public-private partnership with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and distributed the over 400 million doses produced since, at tiered prices in 33 countries. Simultaneously, the Group partnered with Medicines for Malaria Venture to develop new therapies to prevent the risk of resistance to existing treatment in Southeast Asia and its risk of extension in Africa.

Sanofi is strongly committed to awareness, education and prevention programs with local communities: thanks to the "Schoolchildren against Malaria" program, nearly 8 million children in 15 African countries have been sensitized to the fight against malaria, and a program to train educators was created with the National Malaria Control Program and local NGOs, mainly about how to manage malaria.

Finally, Sanofi is part of a collective process to develop knowledge about malaria and its treatment, by sharing data from clinical studies and developing means of surveillance in countries most affected by the disease, in partnership with the National Malaria Control Program and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).

400M

doses produce
since 2007

 

A responsible
transport
of medicines

As a global company, Sanofi distributes its products throughout the world: each year, the Group delivers 4.2 billion packages of medicines and vaccines worldwide, or 15 million packages per day. Indispensable for access to care, transportation must be a key factor in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, while meeting very high standards, especially regarding temperature (maintaining the cold chain, for example).

To reconcile environment and sanitary standards, Sanofi gives priority to shipping by rail and water. In 2014, Sanofi made 86% of its intercontinental shipments by sea compared to an average of 28% for other health companies. Maritime transport emits 30 times less CO2 than air transport, which represents 260,000 tons of CO2 saved per year by Sanofi in shipping by sea.

The Group also increase the fill rate of trucks and containers, pooling the means of transport to reduce the number of trucks on the road and experimenting with electric or natural gas vehicles for deliveries in cities. Meanwhile, the company designs its packaging to limit volumes and optimize transport.

Also, Sanofi has been working, for two years, with an innovative French company that uses weather forecasts to recommend the most suitable and least energy consuming mode of transport: the Climpact® program. To ensure the transportation of medicines and vaccines, Sanofi must ensure compliance with the very strict temperature conditions. The Climpact® program takes weather forecasts into account in real time during the trip and selects the most suitable and least energy-consuming mode of transport according to the required temperatures for the storage of drugs and vaccines.

86%

of Sanofi's
intercontinental shipments
are made by sea

 

On the occasion of COP21, WHO calls for urgent action to protect health from climate change
Sign the call http://who.int/globalchange/

Discover the key facts on climate change and health