How does climate change impact health?

Date20th July 2023

Many Australian businesses are already impacted by changing requirements due to climate change – banks are managing the impact of climate change on credit risk, the role of general insurers play in the motor industry is changing rapidly as Australia transitions to a net zero economy, and climate reporting standards are mandatory in New Zealand for large financial entities, including insurers.

Australian Private Health Insurers however, have not yet been impacted by the recent significant changes to regulations or reporting requirements for climate change.

Finity experts have provided generic advice in previous Financial Condition Reports (FCRs) to help businesses understand climate risk and how it may impact their businesses, and has also advised on climate scenarios to be considered in Board scenario planning.

This paper is the first of a three-part series that will delve into how climate change regulations and reporting requirements are likely affect Private Health Insurers. 

Climate change can impact health, directly and indirectly, through the following ways:

  • Increased heat-related illnesses

  • More respiratory illnesses

  • Emergence of new diseases

  • Mental health

  • Disruptions to healthcare systems and access to essential medical services

  • Threat to food and water security

  • Economic deterioration due to limited resources and financial stress

In this paper, we provide an overview on the key links between climate and health.  The following publications in this series will explore the complex interactions of climate change and the health system and look at what Private Health Insurers can do to prepare and respond to upcoming challenges.

To read more, download the paper here.