BACKGROUND: Climate change is likely to be one of the most important threats to public health in the coming years. Yet despite the large number of papers considering the health impact of climate change, few have considered what public health interventions may be of most value in reducing the disease burden. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of public health interventions to reduce the disease burden of high priority climate sensitive diseases. METHODS AND FINDINGS: For each disease, we performed a systematic search with no restriction on date or language of publication on Medline, Web of Knowledge, Cochrane CENTRAL and SCOPUS up to December 2010 to identify systematic reviews of public health interventions. We retrieved some 3176 records of which 85 full papers were assessed and 33 included in the review. The included papers investigated the effect of public health interventions on various outcome measures. All interventions were GRADE assessed to determine the strength of evidence. In addition we developed a systematic review quality score. The interventions included environmental interventions to control vectors, chemoprophylaxis, immunization, household and community water treatment, greening cities and community advice. For most reviews, GRADE showed low quality of evidence because of poor study design and high heterogeneity. Also for some key areas such as floods, droughts and other weather extremes, there are no adequate systematic reviews of potential public health interventions. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we found the evidence base to be mostly weak for environmental interventions that could have the most value in a warmer world. Nevertheless, such interventions should not be dismissed. Future research on public health interventions for climate change adaptation needs to be concerned about quality in study design and should address the gap for floods, droughts and other extreme weather events that pose a risk to health.