Why do healthy national climate commitments matter?
The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the connection between environmental degradation, including climate change, and health. The same communities worst affected by Covid-19 are also most vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change, and these parallel threats continue to exacerbate existing inequalities. We need urgent action to tackle the common causes and shared impacts across health, climate, economies and equity.
This scorecard ranks Counties alongside each other, rating the extent to which governments have integrated health into their NDCs, and whether their climate action targets are ambitious enough to protect people’s health.
Press enquiries to Dave Walsh: [email protected]
What makes a Healthy NDC?
The Global Climate and Health Alliance is calling on governments to ensure that national climate action commitments include:
- Ambitious commitments for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, aligned with Paris Agreement target of 1.5C;
- Measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that mitigate climate change and also maximise health co-benefits. Many interventions that reduce emissions in the energy, food and agriculture, and transport sectors also improve air quality, increase physical activity, and support healthier diets;
- Calculation of the associated health costs savings, with health impact assessments that demonstrate these health and economic gains;
- Adaptation strategies which incorporate health and commit investments to build climate smart and resilient healthcare and public health systems;
- Within and beyond NDCs, Covid-19 recovery investments must align with healthy national climate action/commitments, to protect people, the planet and economies, securing a healthy and sustainable future.
Margaret Chan, Former Director General, World Health Organization, 2021
How you can take action
We hope very much that health professionals and civil society organizations will be able to support the push for Healthy NDCs and join a much wider community taking action on this crucial issue. GCHA will provide materials for communications and advocacy, and welcomes partnership to ensure the effort has an impact at national level. Here’s how to get involved:
Amplify social media messages
Write a letter to a policymaker
Meet (virtually or in person where regulations allow) with a policymaker
More information on healthy NDCs
If you would like to find out more about a green and healthy recovery from the pandemic, and about healthy NDCs, we highly recommend the resources below:
- Healthy Recovery Letter to G20 leaders, from 40 million health professionals
- WHO Healthy Recovery Manifesto
- WHO Report: Health in the Nationally Determined Contributions
- WHO Commentary in the international Lancet Planetary Health medical journal calling for integration of Covid-19 recovery measures in NDCs
- Courtney Howard et al, 2020. The Paris agreement: charting a low-emissions path for a child born today
- Ed Maibach et al, 2021. Health professionals, the Paris agreement, and the fierce urgency of now
- Margaret Chan et al, 2021. Accelerating towards net zero emissions: the most important global health intervention
- You can also look up your country’s current and previous NDCs