The greater part of the world is in active pursuit of strategies for addressing the health impact of climate change. Similarly, in Korea too, climate change looms large as an unavoidable social issue that calls for active responses. Up until recently, policy responses to climate change remained relatively tepid in Korea due in large part to legal barriers, organizational constraints, budgetary limits, and insufficient program support. However, with the introduction in February 2017 of Clause 2 of Article 37 of the Framework Act on Health and Medical Services, the health impact of climate change was made subject to assessment every five years. Also, the record-breaking heat wave of the preceding year inspired the strengthening of surveillance of heat-related illnesses. Throughout the heat wave in 2016, the second-hottest in living memory, next only to that in 1994, the national surveillance system of heat-related illnesses worked well in quantifying, and reporting on, the health impact of heat waves, promoting public awareness of climate change. The success of health-related programs in the Second National Climate Change Adaptation Plan (2016~2020) hinges on how well they reflect people’s needs and how strongly they are supported by public acceptance. The Plan aims to, among other things, provide customized information on climate change adaptation, establish systematic protection for at-risk population groups, and design and implement education and awareness-raising programs. This study thus examines how people perceive of climate change, how seriously they take the various health risks that may arise as a result of climate change, and what roles the government should play to build up the capacity of people to adapt to climate change.