A growing body of literature addresses how climate change is likely to have substantial and generally adverse effects on population health and health systems around the world. These effects are likely to vary within and between countries and, importantly, will vary depending on different socioeconomic development patterns. Transitioning to a more resilient and sustainable world to prepare for and manage the effects of climate change is likely to result in better health outcomes. Sustained fossil fuel development will likely result in continued high burdens of preventable conditions, such as undernutrition, malaria, and diarrheal diseases. Using a new set of socioeconomic development trajectories, the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), along with the World Health Organization’s Operational Framework for Building Climate Resilient Health Systems, we extend existing storylines to illustrate how various aspects of health systems are likely to be affected under each SSP. We also discuss the implications of our findings on how the burden of mortality and the achievement of health-related Sustainable Development Goal targets are likely to vary under different SSPs.
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