A group of 47 countries are committed to develop climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), in response to growing evidence of the impact of climate change on people’s health.
The governments of these 47 countries, which include some of those most vulnerable to the health harms caused by climate change as well as some of the world’s biggest carbon emitters are committed to take concrete steps toward creating climate-resilient health systems.
Forty-two of these countries are also committed to transform their health systems to be more sustainable and low-carbon. Twelve have set a target date to reach net zero carbon emissions on or before 2050.
The commitments were made as part of the COP26 Health Programme, a partnership between the UK government, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Climate Champions and health groups, such as Health Care Without Harm.
“The future of health must be built on health systems that are resilient to the impacts of epidemics, pandemics and other emergencies, but also to the impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events and the increasing burden of various diseases related to air pollution and our warming planet,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation.
“Health systems must also be part of the solution, by reducing carbon emissions. We applaud those countries that have committed to building climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems, and we hope to see many others following their lead in the near future,” he added.