A a woman cleaning a solar energy panel in Mauritania

A a woman cleaning a solar energy panel in Mauritania. Raphael Pouget / Climate Visuals Countdown

 

See below for details of Global Climate and Health Alliance Event in Bonn.

Stockholm, 2 June 2022:- Ahead of next week’s Bonn Climate Change Conference, the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) and partners are calling on world governments to set ambitious climate policies to ensure a planet that can provide for the health and prosperity for all, as November’s COP27 in Egypt approaches.

The Bonn United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, June 6-16th [1]) meeting follows this week’s UN Stockholm +50 gathering, which aims “to contribute to accelerating a transformation that leads to sustainable and green economies, more jobs, and a healthy planet for all, where no one is left behind”, in response to the “triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature, and biodiversity loss” [2,3].

“Next week’s climate negotiations in Bonn will be critical for protecting populations from climate change and its health impacts, pivotal in shaping the route towards COP27 and defining its outcome for people and the planet”, said Global Climate and Health Alliance Executive Director Jeni Miller. “A healthy planet for the prosperity of all is not merely the responsibility of governments gathering in Bonn, it’s their pre-COP27 opportunity to commit to the urgent slashing of greenhouse gas emissions, in order to pull humanity’s climate change trajectory back from the brink. This must include a just phase-out of all fossil fuels”.

“At COP26 in Glasgow, governments came close to including strong language on fossil fuel phase out for the first time, but this was progressively watered down”, said Miller [4]. “The health community delivered a clear call for a just fossil fuel phase out, in the Healthy Climate Prescription supported by 46 million health professionals [5]. Fossil fuels are killing people, through both climate change and air pollution – improvements in air quality alone from fossil fuel phase out would save 3.6 million lives, and shifting to active transport modes over fossil-fuelled vehicles would save many more lives through increased physical activity [6].”

“These ambitious mitigation commitments have to be paired with financing and technical assistance to low income countries to support both their mitigation efforts, and adaptation, resilience, and response to the impacts of climate change they are already experiencing”, added Miller. “Discussions this week in Stockholm will focus on the interrelated nature of the sustainable development goals, including SDG3 on health, SDG7 on access to affordable energy, and SDG13 on climate change – and the momentum to act on these issues must be carried forward to Bonn” [7].

During a Stockholm +50-associated event on May 31st, Healthy air, healthy planet, healthy people: securing a fossil-free future for all, hosted by NCD Alliance and the Global Climate and Health Alliance, event panellists called for fossil fuel phase out, and for a healthy and just transition to renewables: (Watch video here.)

“A fossil fuel phase out will bring major (co-) benefits to health, particularly through reduced exposure to air pollution, in addition to reducing the risks of climate change. Policies to achieve net zero emissions must be designed and implemented to capitalise on these benefits and minimise potential trade-offs”, said Sir Andy Haines, Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“Efforts to reduce vulnerability, including improved urban environment with basic access to community services and housing, as well as good disaster risk preparedness are crucial for ensuring equitable health, security and well-being throughout life”, said Sarah Thomsen, Specialist in Health and SRHR at Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).

“[It’s] time to unlock and visualise the health benefits from working across sectors, incentivise private and public actors and co-create action at local levels – healthy societies for healthy people and a healthy planet”, said Anders Nordström, Ambassador for Global Health, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

“We must resolve that no child in future will begin life with pollutant laden blood flowing through the placenta in her mother’s womb, draw her first breath in smoke filled air and grow up in a sweltering world where global warming makes life unbearable and even unsustainable through daily assaults on health and wellbeing. If we act firmly from now on with that resolve, even those alive today will be spared of the many ills that a degraded environment is heaping on us. It is a contest wherein human intellect must overcome human folly. At stake is the survival of life on this planet”, said Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India.

“Making visible the link that connects air pollution with climate change and human rights is an urgent need that wakes me up every day. Us, young people, have the power to change the narrative”, said Alejandro Daly, Director, El Derecho a No Obedecer.

In Bonn, governments will also discuss the Global Stocktake, i.e. the mechanism to monitor implementation of the Paris Agreement and to guide approaches to future rounds of national climate commitments, which are submitted every five years [8]. Governments must consider health – both as itself a metric of progress, and also the role of the health sector’s own contribution towards global decarbonisation – following up on the COP26 health commitments [9].

“In order to protect people’s health in the era of the climate crisis, we’ve got to build health into every stage of climate governance, decision making and assessment”, said Jess Beagley, Policy Analyst for the Global Climate and Health Alliance. “As the primary mechanism by which the world monitors effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, the Global Stocktake must assess national efforts for whether or not they are meeting its goal of ensuring the ‘right to health’”.

“The Stocktake must explicitly assess progress on the protection and promotion of health through action across all sectors. Governments must also assess health sector mitigation and adaptation, to ensure we make our health systems fit for purpose in the climate era”, added Beagley.

“Climate and health are intrinsically linked – health is both a prerequisite for and a critical indicator of the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement”, said Beagley. “Healthy populations are key for climate resilience, while building health into policies across all sectors – into policies for clean energy, clean transport, sustainable urban planning and food systems, and resilient, sustainable health systems – can deliver on the potential for millions of lives saved, and a healthy, equitable future for all.”

ENDS

Global Climate and Health Alliance Event in Bonn: see list of side events for the Bonn Climate Conference. They will all be streamed here.

7 June, 15:00—16:30 Bonn: “An Inclusive GST [Global Stocktake] that Spurs Action: Ambition from Country, Sectoral and Non-State Actor perspectives” (GCHA; CDP; IDDRI)

For the GST to be implemented on the ground, we have to understand what is needed to accelerate transformations. The global ambition discussion and the GST must therefore go beyond NDCs, engaging non-state actors and examining national and sectoral realities such as transport or health.

Speakers: Marine Pouget, Responsable gouvernance internationale sur le climat, Réseau Action Climat; Pietro Bertazzi, Global Director, Policy Engagement and External Affairs, CDP; Anna Pérez Català, Research Fellow, Deep Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative at IDDRI; Prof. Amit Garg, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad; Jess Beagley, Policy Analyst, Global Climate and Health Alliance; Karl Peet, Senior Advisor, SLOCAT; Marina Marçal, Climate Policy Coordinator, Institute for Climate and Society, Brazil.

Contact:

Dave Walsh, Communications Advisor, Global Climate and Health Alliance, +34 691 826 764 (Europe) – [email protected] is checked regularly.

Notes:

[1] Bonn Climate Change Conference, June 6-16 2022
https://unfccc.int/SB56

[2] Stockholm +50, June 2-3 2022
https://www.stockholm50.global/

[3] Warning Humanity Still Doing More Harm than Good to Nature, Speakers Urge Corrective Action, at Preparatory Meeting for Stockholm International Environmental Conference
https://www.un.org/press/en/2022/envdev2042.doc.htm

[4] Global Climate and Health Alliance: COP26 Outcomes Not Nearly Enough to Protect Health
https://climateandhealthalliance.org/press-releases/global-climate-and-health-alliance-cop26-outcomes-not-nearly-enough-to-protect-health/

[5] Letter From 46 Million Health Workers Calling for Global Climate Action Delivered to COP26 & COP27 Presidencies
https://climateandhealthalliance.org/press-releases/letter-delivered-to-world-leaders-from-46-million-health-workers-calling-for-global-climate-action/

[6] Effects of fossil fuel and total anthropogenic emission removal on public health and climate, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, March 25, 2019
https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1819989116

[7] Sustainable Development Goals:
https://sdgs.un.org/goals

SDG3: Health and Wellbeing
https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal3

SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy
https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal7

SDG13: Climate Action
https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal13

[8] Taking Stock of Global Efforts to Implement the Paris Agreement, 23 MAY, 2022
https://unfccc.int/news/taking-stock-of-global-efforts-to-implement-the-paris-agreement

UNFCCC: The Global Stocktake
https://unfccc.int/topics/global-stocktake/global-stocktake

[9] COP26 Country Health Commitments
https://www.who.int/initiatives/cop26-health-programme/country-commitments

About
The Global Climate and Health Alliance is the leading global convenor of health professional and health civil society organizations addressing climate change. We are a consortium of health organizations from around the world united by a shared vision of an equitable, sustainable future, in which the health impacts of climate change are minimized, and the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation are maximised.

Find out more: http://climateandhealthalliance.org/about/