The first ever global Climate and Health Summit took place at the UNFCCC’s 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban, December 2011. The event represented the first formal meeting of the organisations that formed the Global Climate and Health Alliance and was attended by over 100 delegates. Full details of the conference can be found in the pages below:

 

Background

Despite the major health dimensions of the climate crisis, and despite the significant health co-benefits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, public health has not played a central role in the climate debate.

In recent years however, the health sector has become increasingly engaged and active in addressing climate and health at the local, national and global levels.

The First Global Climate and Health Summit aims to bring together key health sector actors to discuss the impacts of climate change on public health and solutions that promote greater health and economic equity between and within nations.  The Summit is geared to build the profile of the health sector vis-à-vis the COP17 negotiations in Durban, and to also help build a broader, longer lasting global movement for a healthy climate.

Objectives

  • Raise the profile of public health and the health sector vis-à-vis the public debate and global negotiations on climate change.
  • Catalyze greater health sector engagement on climate issues in a broad diversity of countries.
  • Build a common, more coordinated approach to addressing the health impacts of climate change.
  • Develop shared advocacy strategies for strong national and global policy measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


Summit Organizers Download Profiles

Health Care Without Harm
Climate and Health Council
World Federation of Public Health Associations
Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Summit Partners

Climate and Health Alliance, Australia
FHI360
groundWork South Africa
Health and Environment Alliance, Europe
International Council of Nurses
International Federation of Medical Students Associations
People’s Health Movement
PHI Center for Public Health and Climate Change, US
Projeto Hospitais Saudáveis, Brazil
Public Health Association of South Africa
World Health Organization
World Medical Association
World Vision

Agenda and Presentations

Climate and Health Summit, 4 Dec.

Tropicana Hotel, 85 O R Tambo Parade, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

8 – 9  Registration, Coffee

9 – 9:30   OPENING CEREMONYAmatsheketshe Traditional Dancers

9:30 – 10:00 KEYNOTE 1:
The Honourable Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health, South Africa, introduced by the Honourable Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Member of the Executive Committee of Health, Province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

10 – 10:30 KEYNOTE 2:
Dr. Hugh Montgomery, UCL Division of Medicine; Climate and Health Council, UK

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee

10:45 – 12:00:  PLENARY PANEL:
Climate Change and Health—Politics and Economics

Co-Moderators: Dr. Rajen Naidoo, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN; Joshua Karliner, Health Care Without Harm
In memoriam:  A brief tribute to Dr. Paul Epstein, speaker: John Balbus, United States National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences; and short video
Plenary Speakers: Nnimmo Bassey, President, Friends of the Earth International; Dr. Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Climate and Health Team Leader, Department of Public Health and Environment, WHO; Martin Khor, Director, South Centre

12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH

1:30 – 3:00 SIMULTANEOUS PANELS 1:  Climate Mitigation and Adaptation

1.1 Addressing Climate and Health in Africa

Moderator: Dr. Rajen Naidoo, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN
Speakers: Lucien Manga, WHO-AFRO; Mrs. Aneliswa Cele, Director: Environmental Health National Department of Health, South Africa;  Jonny Myers, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Assefa Tofu, World Vision, Ethiopia.

1.2 Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in the Health Sector

Moderator: Joshua Karliner, Health Care Without Harm and Fiona Armstrong, Climate and Health Alliance
Speakers: Dr. Carlos Dora, Department of Public Health and Environment, WHO; Dr. Shu-Ti Chiou, Vice Chair of International Health Promoting Hospitals Network/Director General Bureau of Health Promotion, Taiwan; Louis Reynolds, Associate Professor, Health Sciences Faculty University of Cape Town/People’s Health Movement; Vital Ribeiro Filho, Executive Director, Hospitais Saudaveis, Brazil

1.3 Health Co-Benefits of Climate Mitigation: Saving Lives and Money

Moderator: Dr. Robin Stott, Climate and Health Council and and Maya Tickell- Painter, Healthy Planet
Speakers: Professor Sir Andy Haines, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; John Balbus, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA; Dr. Pendo Maro HCWH Europe/HEAL; Dr. Cristina Tirado, Public Health Institute, USA

3:00 – 3:15  Coffee Break

3:15 – 5:00 SIMULTANEOUS PANELS 2:  Advocacy for a Healthy Climate

2.1 Climate and Public Health Advocacy in South Africa

Moderator: Rico Euripidou, groundWork and Dr. Mark Colvin
Speakers: Desmond D’Sa, Chair, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance;  Rico Euripidou, Research Manager, groundWork; Angela Mathee, Director, Environment and Health Research Unit, Medical Research Council of South Africa; Professor Nceba Gqaleni, Chair of Traditional Health, UKZN

2.2 Role of Health Professionals and Women in Advocating for a Healthy Climate

Moderator: Dr. Robin Stott, Climate and Health Council and and Maya Tickell- Painter, Healthy Planet
Speakers: Dr. Dong Chun Shin, World Medical Association; Ms. Thembeka Gwagwa, General Secretary, Democratic Nurses Association of South Africa; Dr. Fazel Randera, South Africa Medical Association; Elena Villalobos, Gender Focal Point, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization

2.3 The GeoPolitics of Climate and Health—Equity and Sustainability in the UNFCCC Process and Beyond

Moderator: Hugh Montgomery, Climate and Health Council
Speakers: Nick Watts, Projects Director, International Federation of Medical Student Associations; Marina Maiero, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization; Patrick Bond, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

5:00 – 5:15  Coffee

5:15 – 6:30 CLOSING CEREMONY

Closing Keynotes: Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International; The Honorable, Dr Z L Mkhize, Premeir of KwaZulu Natal Province (invited)

Reading of the Conference Declaration and Call to ActionEndorse Now!

Performance: Amatsheketshe Traditional Dancers

6:45-7:45 COCKTAIL PARTY

Summit’s Presentations by Speakers

Click on the Speaker’s name to download a PDF version of the presentation

KEYNOTE:
Dr. Hugh Montgomery, UCL Division of Medicine; Climate and Health Council, UK

PLENARY PANEL: Climate Change and Health—Politics and Economics

  • John Balbus, United States National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences; and short video
  • Nnimmo Bassey, President, Friends of the Earth International
  • Dr. Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Climate and Health Team Leader, Department of Public Health and Environment, WHO
  • Martin Khor, Director, South Centre

Addressing Climate and Health in Africa

  • Lucien Manga, WHO-AFRO
  • Mrs. Aneliswa Cele, Director: Environmental Health National Department of Health, South Africa
  • Jonny Myers, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Assefa Tofu, World Vision, Ethiopia

Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in the Health Sector

  • Dr. Carlos Dora, Department of Public Health and Environment, WHO
  • Dr. Shu-Ti Chiou, Vice Chair of International Health Promoting Hospitals Network/Director General Bureau of Health Promotion, Taiwan
  • Louis Reynolds, Associate Professor, Health Sciences Faculty University of Cape Town/People’s Health Movement
  • Vital Ribeiro Filho, Executive Director, Hospitais Saudaveis, Brazil

Health Co-Benefits of Climate Mitigation: Saving Lives and Money

Climate and Public Health Advocacy in South Africa

  • Desmond D’Sa, Chair, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance
  • Rico Euripidou, Research Manager, groundWork
  • Angela Mathee, Director, Environment and Health Research Unit, Medical Research Council of South Africa
  • Professor Nceba Gqaleni, Chair of Traditional Health, UKZN

Role of Health Professionals and Women in Advocating for a Healthy Climate

  • Dr. Dong Chun Shin, World Medical Association
  • Ms. Thembeka Gwagwa, General Secretary, Democratic Nurses Association of South Africa
  • Dr. Fazel Randera, South Africa Medical Association
  • Elena Villalobos, Gender Focal Point, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization

The GeoPolitics of Climate and Health—Equity and Sustainability in the UNFCCC Process and Beyond

  • Nick Watts, Projects Director, International Federation of Medical Student Associations
  • Marina Maiero, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization
  • Patrick Bond, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Vídeos

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo Mail
  • LinkedIn

Media Coverage

Medics call to include health issues in climate deal, 8 December 2011
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha News Agency

Climate Crisis Threatens Health of Young Africans, 6 December 2011
Source: All Africa

Deal in sight at COP17, 6 December 2011
Source: Times Live Africa

Slow action on climate change threatens health, 6 December 2011
Source: Daily Monitor Uganda

Health Leaders Call for Urgent Action on Climate, 6 December 2011
Source: Reuters
Source: Statesman.com
Source: Finance Boston

La OMSpide medidas en Durban para evitar 13 millones de muertes al año,
6 December 2011
Source: EFE / Yahoo News

COP-17: Health ‘first casualty’ of climate change, 5 December 2011
Source: Business Day Africa

First Global Climate and Health Summit Adopts Durban Declaration,
4 December 2011
Source: International Institute for Sustainable Development

Climate Change and Public Health: Healthy Climate, Healthy People, Healthy Economy, December 8
Organized by Health Care Without Harm, Health & Environment Alliance, Environmental Quality Protection Foundation, International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA)
Source: International Institute for Sustainable Development

Quotes

“Climate Change poses an immediate and grave threat to human health and survival worldwide. Many are already affected. Emissions are rising steeply. Action is needed now- not ‘later’.”  Dr. Hugh Montgomery, Climate and Health Council, UK

“If the world’s governments agree to delay action for the rest of this decade—which it appears they might–history will judge Durban as a moment of global political malpractice of criminal proportions.   It would be the equivalent of diagnosing a patient with lung cancer and then telling them it’s ok to continue smoking for nine more years.   The health of billions of people is at stake.” Joshua Karliner, International Coordinator, Health Care Without Harm

“I’m a 21 year old medical student, and these negotiations have been carrying on my entire life. If we don’t reach a legally binding agreement on climate change soon, the protection and promotion of public health will be seriously undermined, world-wide.”  Nick Watts, International Federation of Medical Students Associations

“The health community has spoken with one voice.  We need urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stop the escalation of health risks; proper support for more climate-resilient health systems; and smarter, more sustainable development to gain the many health benefits of a green economy.  Failure to act would put people’s lives at unacceptable risk, and miss a huge opportunity to protect and promote health.”  Maria Neira, Head of WHO Delegation to COP 17).

“Climate change presents as one of the most important threats to the gains in public health made since the advent of democracy in South Africa.   The vulnerable and marginalised such as the elderly, ill, pregnant women, children and rural poor are at greatest risk. Programmes of mitigation and adaptation must include health.”  Dr. Rajen Naidoo, Nelson R. Mandela Medical School, UKZN, Durban

“Without bold action by governments climate change will magnify existing health crises, deepening and broadening the global burden of disease. The greatest burden will fall on those living in poor countries, who have contributed least to greenhouse gas emissions.”  Peter Orris, MD, MPH, Professor, University of Illinois School of Public Health and Chair Environmental Working Group of World Federation of Public Health Associations

“Climate change represents a major threat as well as a significant opportunity for human health. Unmitigated climate change is having serious and increasing effects on the health of millions of people around the world. However effective action to cut emissions will not only reduce climate risk, it can bring substantial and immediate health benefits for individuals and populations.” Fiona Armstrong, Climate and Health Alliance, Australia,

“A Climate win is a Health win.  By working together across sectors promoting the co-benefits on climate, health and equity of sustainable development, sustainable production and consumption and waste reduction we can create a climate for Health” Cristina Tirado, Director of the PHI Center for Public and Climate Change

“Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today and with increases in temperatures, changes in precipitation and sea levels, extreme weather events will lead to substantially increased death and disease. The effects of climate change will put increasing pressure on already challenged and fragile health systems and it is imperative that countries, governments, organizations and individuals take all necessary steps to mitigate climate change and to help prepare for and prevent the serious health and environmental consequences of climate change.”  Janet Robinson, FHI360

“Just as our thoughtless actions can harm our planet so can we make a positive and planned contribution to its recovery.  If we all do our part we can collectively secure the health of future generations.”  David C. Benton, Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Nurses

“Strong climate policy represents a major investment in people’s health. The EU has recognised the benefits for lung and heart health, which has helped to put health in the climate agenda in Europe. But in the midst of austerity associated with the Eurocrisis and with greenhouse gas emissions continuing to rise, isn’t it time for the EU to commit to an emission reduction target in Durban that would boost health protection, reduce health care bills and make Europeans proud?” Genon Jensen, Executive Director, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

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