“Act with urgency”; WHO makes 10 recommendations in the COP26 special report on climate change and health
LMB Staff
Written by
18/10/2021

The World Health Organisation released a special report on October 11, 2021, which provides 10 key recommendations for global leaders and policy makers, while establishing a key link between climate change and the global health crisis. WHO has urged the COP26 summit to take serious climate action to improve public health worldwide. The 10 recommendations […]

The World Health Organisation released a special report on October 11, 2021, which provides 10 key recommendations for global leaders and policy makers, while establishing a key link between climate change and the global health crisis. WHO has urged the COP26 summit to take serious climate action to improve public health worldwide.

The 10 recommendations in the COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Health propose a set of priority actions from the global health community to governments and policy makers, calling on them to act with urgency on the current climate and health crises. Countries must set ambitious national climate commitments to foster a healthy recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, said the report.

The recommendations were developed in consultation with over 150 organisations and 400 experts and health professionals. 

They intend to inform governments and other stakeholders ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scheduled to held in Glasgow in November, and to highlight various opportunities for governments to prioritise health and equity in the international climate movement and sustainable development agenda. 

White smoke comes out of the red smokestacks.

The global south’s developing nations have historically contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions, but are among the areas where health is worst affected by the climate crisis, according to the report. 

Suggesting paths to green recovery the report includes preventing public funds from going to fossil industries, as well as dedicating funds to ensuring the same shift away from fossils is possible in developing countries.

The 10 recommendations include:

  1. Commit to a healthy recovery. Commit to a healthy, green, and just recovery from COVID-19.
  2. Our health is not negotiable. Place health and social justice at the heart of the UN climate talks.
  3. Harness the health benefits of climate action. Prioritise those climate interventions with the largest health, social and economic gains.
  4. Build health resilience to climate risks. Build climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable health systems and facilities, and support health adaptation and resilience across sectors.
  5. Create energy systems that protect and improve climate and health. Guide a just and inclusive transition to renewable energy to save lives from air pollution, particularly from coal combustion. End energy poverty in households and health care facilities.
  6. Reimagine urban environments, transport, and mobility. Promote sustainable, healthy urban design and transport systems, with improved land-use, access to green and blue public space, and priority for walking, cycling and public transport.
  7. Protect and restore nature as the foundation of our health. Protect and restore natural systems, the foundations for healthy lives, sustainable food systems and livelihoods.
  8. Promote healthy, sustainable, and resilient food systems. Promote sustainable and resilient food production and more affordable, nutritious diets that deliver on both climate and health outcomes.
  9. Finance a healthier, fairer, and greener future to save lives. Transition towards a wellbeing economy.
  10. Listen to the health community and prescribe urgent climate action. Mobilise and support the health community on climate action.

More than 400 international health organisations and professionals, representing two-thirds of global healthcare workers, have signed an open letter calling on politicians to consider the health benefits of climate action ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

LMB Staff
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