Delhi Research Implementation and Innovation (DRIIV), an S&T (Science and Technology) cluster of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, organised a conference on the ‘Role of Open Access in Equitable Climate and Health Action: Prevention, Response, and Financing’ on August 9. The conference served as a vital platform for global dialogue and collaboration on climate-health synergy.
The conference underscored the inter-sectoral challenges that need to be addressed for health systems to be better equipped to handle climate-related risks. It saw participation from central ministries and state governments, embassies, multilateral agencies, academia, philanthropic organisations and industry.
This event, organised under the G20 CSAR, highlighted the vital role that open access to data, research, and resources play in shaping equitable solutions to these challenges.
Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, Member of NITI Aayog, while delivering the keynote speech said, “Climate change and health challenges are intricately connected, as global warming leads to significant shifts like heat events, flooding, excess rain, and more, with direct and indirect health consequences,” he said.
“Melting ice poses the risk of releasing ancient pathogens. Health facilities will also face stress in such situations, necessitating a resilient health system. Additionally, the health system itself contributes significantly to global warming, with 5% attributed to hospitals and medical equipment and energy consumption. As a nation, being prepared to address these challenges and to demonstrate leadership is crucial, drawing from lessons learned during COVID control. Inter-sectoral collaboration is essential in tackling climate and health issues effectively”, Dr Paul added.
The conference, aimed to bridge critical gaps in climate-health research, also looked at fostering cross-border cooperation and discussed strategies for resilient health systems. Shipra Misra, CEO of DRIIV, expressed how high profile participation from industry, academia, government bodies, embassies and international funding agencies help in creating an impactful ecosystem.. “Our commitment to working together for a common cause is reflected in the collective impact of six S&T clusters at a national scale.”
The conference also saw participation from international funding agencies such as the World Bank, the Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation; embassies such as The British High Commission and Embassies of Sweden and Switzerland and government bodies such as the Principal Scientific Adviser Office, the Ministry of Health and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. Delegates also included CEOs of large corporations and senior leadership of premiere research institutes such as IIT, Delhi and AIIMS.