WHO Presses for More Action on Climate Change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

In the midst of an ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with many nations struggling with their response, the WHO has decided to focus their efforts on combatting climate change.

Climate change and health

Messaging for COP26

A Call for Action to the Health Community

In November 2021, the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)

The science is clear: we must urgently scale up action to respond to the threat of climate change to have a chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, and to adapt effectively and increase our resilience

The UK is committed to fulfilling the potential of the Paris Agreement by facilitating a balanced negotiated outcome that accelerates climate action, enables greater ambition, and powers the process forward

The UK is also seeking to bring governments, business and civil society together to accelerate progress on shared challenges of climate change: adaptation & resilience, energy transitions, nature, clean transport, and finance. This briefing pack highlights the health benefits of action in those areas

The public health motives for action have a strong science basis and are well evidenced and compelling

We can rise to the challenge by working together, calling for stronger action in our countries, sectors, and professions to ensure the need to protect public health, by countering climate change, is fully recognised and acted upon

A turning point for our planet and our health

COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus the fragile relationship between society, the economy and health. We owe it to future generations to build our recovery on solid foundations

The last year has also demonstrated the need for resilient health and social care systems, as well as renewed focus and public support for global health priorities

COP26 provides the opportunity to unite on an evidence based path to a zero carbon, resilient and inclusive global economy – building back greener and healthier from COVID-19

Read more: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/cop26-key-messages-on-climate-change-and-health

The document is the usual tired UN renewable energy tropes. Take the recommendation on burning less fossil fuel;

Energy transition and health

Global emissions from coal are ~45% of total CO2 emissions and it is the most polluting source of energy. Transition to renewable power is underway and the market is moving fast, but the transition must accelerate to keep warming well below 2°C

Burning fewer fossil fuels reduces pollution, and offers immediate and local benefits for society and the economy

Health professionals can support the campaign by;

  • raising awareness to governments and the public of the health implications of coal power and other fossil fuels;
  • advocating for the phase out of coal and the adoption of renewable sources of energy which also help to reduce human exposure to air pollutionand joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance

Read more: Same link as above

President Trump withdrew funding from the WHO, in the wake of their disastrous handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Joe Biden has promised to restore funding to the WHO if he wins.

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November 5, 2020 at 04:19PM

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