Global Climate and Health Summit, Madrid, Spain, 2019

World Health Organization and Civil Society

7 December 2019

Madrid, Spain

At COP25, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) convened a one-day summit on climate and health. This was part of series of annual summits for health civil society that have been held since COP 17 in Durban.

The period we are in is critical in our collective global response to climate change, and the implications for human health are immense.  The Paris agreement enshrined the “right to health” as a core principle guiding action on climate change, for the first time formalizing health as a focus in the UNFCCC processes. The World Health Organization has made the “health impacts of climate and environmental change” one of its top five priorities.

Though the challenge is great, policy responses to climate change present an unprecedented opportunity for public health, such as by reducing air pollution which is responsible for 7 million premature deaths annually. As impacts of climate change are increasingly felt, the movement of health professionals and health organizations addressing climate change around the world is growing.

The 2019 Global Climate and Health Summit alongside COP25 in Madrid served as a central moment for health civil society and other stakeholders to help drive global action to protect health from a changing climate.

The Summit:

  • Highlighted this moment as a critical turning point in global action on climate change, as an urgent global health issue.
  • Increased awareness among delegates of the role health civil society is playing and can play, to support increased national and global ambition to reduce emissions, and thus protect health.
  • Facilitated the exchange of knowledge and best practice in protecting and promoting health in the face of climate change.
  • Built and strengthened collaboration across health organizations and between sectors globally, seeking to increase capacity for a global response to climate change and its impacts on health.
  • Provided an update on the Health commitments from UNSG Climate Action Summit 2019

Chilean National Workshop of the Global Climate and Health Summit

A parallel event took place in Santiago, Chile on December 6th, convened by Colegio Médico, the Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (CEDEUS), the Epidemiological Society of Chile, the School of Public Health at the University of Chile, and the Sustainable Chile program, in collaboration with the WHO and the Global Climate and Health Alliance. This one day workshop led a nationally focused discussion of the themes jointly developed by Chilean and international partners for the Global Summit. Outcomes of the National Workshop were presented via video at the Global Summit in Madrid the following day.


Event: Global Climate and Health Summit 2019

Date: 7thDecember 2019

Time: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm, followed by cocktail reception


Complutense University of Madrid, Facultad de Medicina

Plaza Ramón y Cajal, s/n, Auditorium “Ramón y Cajal”, 2nd floor

Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid

The University is accessible from the COP25 venue IFEMA Exhibition Centre by the Metro (“Ciudad Universitaria” metro station). Exit the metro, turn toward the horse and rider statue, and continue to the Faculty of Medicine building.

Languages: Spanish-English-Spanish translation to be provided for morning plenary sessions.

Final Summit Program


The Climate and Health Summit had originally been planned in Santiago, Chile. The conveners are grateful to our Chilean partners, including the University Adolfo Ibáñez which was to have hosted the event on its Santiago campus, and grateful to our new hosts in Madrid.

Conveners and Hosts

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