RA Capital, a leading veteran life sciences firm, has recently made an important move in response to the growing concern over climate change and its impact on global health. The company has established a dedicated ‘planetary health’ team that will focus on identifying and investing in innovative climate tech solutions.
RA Capital, a prominent life sciences firm, has established a ‘planetary health’ team to focus on climate tech investments. Their recognition of the health benefits resulting from combatting climate change highlights the need to address the root causes of diseases associated with pollution. In addition to the immediate health impacts, a warming planet also poses significant risks, such as the spread of infectious diseases. This holistic approach to health investment demonstrates the company’s commitment to improving global health by tackling climate change.
Recognizing the Health Benefits of Combating Climate Change
While the discussion around climate change often revolves around its environmental and economic consequences, it is crucial to acknowledge the significant health benefits that can come from transitioning away from fossil fuel dependency. The burning of coal, oil, and natural gas not only contributes to respiratory diseases like asthma and lung cancer, but it is also linked to strokes, heart disease, and premature death. Furthermore, the fine particulate matter resulting from combustion poses risks of kidney disease, diabetes, preterm birth, osteoporosis, and even Alzheimer’s.
The Health Risks Posed by a Warming Planet
In addition to the direct health impacts of pollution, a warming planet brings its own set of health risks. Extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, have been shown to increase the risk of death among vulnerable populations, including older adults and infants. On top of that, infectious diseases like malaria, dengue, and tick-borne illnesses thrive in warmer conditions, spreading these threats farther towards the poles than ever before.
A Holistic Approach to Health Investment
RA Capital’s decision to form a ‘planetary health’ team stems from a realization that even if the firm were to successfully back numerous companies developing groundbreaking therapies for various diseases, millions of people would still suffer from the health effects of pollution. Kyle Teamey, managing partner of planetary health at RA Capital, aptly notes that failing to address the root cause of many diseases would ultimately impede the firm’s mission of improving overall health.