Health must be at the center of climate change negotiations

Health must be at the center of the climate change negotiations of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), which is being held from 06 to 18 November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt , pleaded the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Climate policy must now place health at the center and promote climate change mitigation policies that are at the same time beneficial to health”, WHO said in a statement.

With a health-oriented climate policy, the planet would benefit from cleaner air, more abundant and healthier water and food, more efficient and fairer health and social protection systems and, consequently, of healthier populations, it is pointed out.

Indeed, the conference must lead to progress on the four key objectives of mitigation, adaptation, finance and collaboration to tackle the climate crisis, believes the WHO, noting that COP27 will provide a “crucial opportunity to the world to unite and recommit to maintaining the 1.5°C target set out in the Paris Agreement.

According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO, quoted in a press release from the organization, “climate change is making millions of people sick or more vulnerable to disease around the world and the growing destructive power of extreme weather events disproportionately affects poor and marginalized communities. It is crucial that leaders and decision-makers mobilize at COP27 to put health at the heart of the negotiations”.

Rising global temperatures are already driving extreme weather events that translate into intense heat waves and droughts, devastating floods, and increasingly severe hurricanes and tropical storms. With the combination of these factors, the consequences for human health are increasing and are likely to accelerate, notes the WHO.

To conclude that community engagement and participation are key to fostering resilience and strengthening food and health systems, especially for vulnerable populations and small island developing states, which are most affected by extreme weather events .

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