Chris Huhne, the British secretary of state for energy and climate change who opened the conference hosted in London by the British Medical Journal, urged world governments to work to limit the impact of climate change for a "cleaner, healthier, safer future for us all."
Prominent scientists, environmental health experts and public figures at the meeting issued a statement warning that climate change could not only bring a global health catastrophe but could threaten global stability and security as well, a journal release said Monday.
"It is not enough for politicians to deal with climate change as some abstract academic concept," Hugh Montgomery of University College London said.
"The price of complacency will be paid in human lives and suffering, and all will be affected."
Climate change could bring loss of habitat, water and food shortages, spread of diseases, ecosystem collapse and threats to livelihood and cold potentially trigger mass migration and conflict within and between countries, the meeting attendees were told.