Anthropogenic climate change is progressively transforming the environment despite political and technological attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle global warming. Here we propose that greater insight and understanding of the health-related impacts of climate change can be gained by integrating the positivist approaches used in public health and epidemiology, with holistic social science perspectives on health in which the concept of ‘wellbeing’ is more explicitly recognised. Such an approach enables us to acknowledge and explore a wide range of more subtle, yet important health-related outcomes of climate change. At the same time, incorporating notions of wellbeing enables recognition of both the health co-benefits and dis-benefits of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies across different population groups and geographical contexts. The paper recommends that future adaptation and mitigation policies seek to ensure that benefits are available for all since current evidence suggests that they are spatially and socially differentiated, and their accessibility is dependent on a range of contextually specific socio-cultural factors.