Health For AllEnvironment HealthCOP28 and WHO Present Historic Declaration to Tackle Climate and Health Crisis

COP28 and WHO Present Historic Declaration to Tackle Climate and Health Crisis

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Dubai, UAE- Breaking new ground on crisis, the COP28 Presidency, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), has presented the ‘COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health’ at the World Climate Action Summit. This declaration, signed by 123 nations, represents the world’s first acknowledgment of the imperative for governments to safeguard communities and healthcare systems from the escalating impacts of climate change.

Moreover, The declaration, developed with input from global leaders, including Brazil, Malawi, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Kenya, Fiji, India, Egypt, Sierra Leone, and Germany, stressed the urgent need for collective action. This collaborative effort addresses the critical connection between climate change and health, highlighting the increasing threats posed by extreme heat, air pollution, and infectious diseases.

“The impacts of climate change are already at our door. They have become one of the greatest threats to human health in the 21st century. Governments have now rightly recognized health as a crucial element of climate action” said COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber. He continued “the Declaration sends a strong signal that we must reduce global emissions and work together to strengthen our health systems”.

“The climate crisis is a health crisis, but for too long, health has been a footnote in climate discussions,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization. “WHO thanks the UAE for making health a key priority in its COP28 Presidency, and welcomes this declaration, which emphasizes the need to build climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems, to protect the health of both planet and people.”

“The climate crisis is a health crisis, but for too long, health has been a footnote in climate discussions,” s

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
“Climate change is increasingly impacting the health and wellbeing of our communities,” said Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi – one of the first countries to endorse the Declaration. “Malawi has experienced these impacts first-hand – extreme weather events have displaced tens of thousands of our citizens and sparked infectious disease outbreaks that have killed thousands more. This year, at COP28, we are calling for a bolder path forward that prioritizes investments in health and wellbeing, ensures a just transition away from fossil fuels, and creates a healthier future for all of us.”

The declaration spans critical action areas, including resilient health systems, cross-sector collaboration, and increased finance for climate and health solutions. Importantly, signatories commit to incorporating health targets in national climate plans and enhancing international collaboration.

However, Recognizing finance as a key driver, COP28 Presidency, along with partners like the Global Fund and the Green Climate Fund, introduced ten principles to boost financing for climate and health. Over 40 partners endorsed the COP28 Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions, committing USD 1 billion to address the climate-health crisis.

Also Read: COP28: Health Takes Center Stage as World Unites to Address Climate Crisis

Furthermore, COP28 acknowledges that reducing health impacts requires society-wide action, emphasizing rapid decarbonization. The declaration, presented at the World Climate Action Summit, is part of a broader initiative from the COP28 Presidency to reduce health impacts beyond the health sector, driving rapid decarbonization to achieve a 43% reduction in emissions over the next seven years, keeping the 1.5°C target within reach.

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