The health community at the UN climate talks - The Global Climate and Health Alliance (2023)

BLOG - The Global Alliance for Climate and Health at COP26

between lines

Thursday, 11.11
Alison Cox

After ten days in this hectic and intense “Blue Zone” world, we are now all institutionalized in this artificial and temporary city within a city and we are used to speaking its unique language.

Yesterday morning we all took in the first version of the COP 26 Outcome Document, known as 1/CP.26. This is the key text summarizing the key decisions of this climate summit that will define the direction and ambition of all progress when all governments return to their capitals. This first draft gave us an early idea of ​​whether the Glasgow Summit was on the road to success or failure.

We were pleased to see the right to health recognized in the opening paragraphs and received strong words on mitigation and commitment to the 1.5 degree target. As a first draft, this text contained a number of "markers" for the results of ongoing consultations and negotiations and was therefore sparse in detail. Most worrying, however, was the disappointing lack of content on finance, particularly adaptation finance and loss and damage.

In the final version of the text, we would like to see the health co-benefits of action to address the climate crisis recognized in line with the goals of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.

(Video) Healthy Conversation: What does COP27 mean for health?

Our network of dedicated health and climate advocates spent the day following up contacts with government delegates, asking them to support this approach and advocate for health on the key issues that still need to be finalized in these negotiations:

In the Mitigation section of the outcome document, we want to focus on the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to a safe 1.5°C. As we saidour press release – “Every tenth of a degree of global warming is caused by the loss of human life, just as every reduction in emissions improves people's health.

And to help make that happen, we strongly support phasing out coal data and ending fossil fuel subsidies.

We strongly support developed country parties committing to at least double their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation. This funding must be “new and additional” and in the form of grants rather than loans.

We also support calls for developed countries to increase funding for damages. We argue that health impacts and loss of life are an important element of this loss and damage that needs to be considered alongside the growing social, economic and environmental threat posed by the climate crisis.

Progress updates, new information and requests for help are circulating in our Whatsapp groups as we work in the halls, utilizing all the connections we have made, trying to get our brief into the delegates' hands. .

The next "near-final" draft of the document will be published overnight... Check out this space to see if we've had any success in the language of health and hope we've contributed to strong outcome text on the key issues of Ambition, mitigation, finance, adaptation and damage - the essential words in our COP26 lexicon.

Health at the COP

Wednesday, November 10th
Jeni Muller

(Video) Pre-COP26 Briefing for the Health Community

The climate challenge we face is daunting, but this year the health community had its biggest presence at the UN climate talks COP26.

For the first time in the history of the World Health Organizationhosted a WHO pavilionwhere negotiations take place, during the two full weeks of the COP. The pavilion provided a space for daily health and climate programs, helped us connect with national delegations and also served as a meeting point for the health community attending the COP.

Another novelty was inclusion by the UK Presidencya health program in preparation for the COP, calling on countries to commit to making their healthcare systems low-carbon and climate-resilient. More than 50 countries have committed, showing that health systems recognize the health threat posed by climate change and are ready to lead by example.

An exceptional example of the decarbonisation of the healthcare system is England.National Green Health Service, which has already started to achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2040 and beyond net-zero emissions in all its supply chains by 2045. As a tangible demonstration of innovation, its new zero-emission hydrogen ambulance has entered service at the COP headquarters. When I visited the ambulance, I was struck by the fact that the new vehicle is not only net zero, but is designed to improve patient care and staff well-being, with features to help calm dementia patients. , be more accessible and comfortable for people with visual impairments. , or mobility limitations, and this helps to get patients up and down more easily.

The healthcare community, representing two-thirds of the world's healthcare workers, also brought a physical version ofRecipe letter for a healthy climate, signed by over 600 organizations representing 46 million healthcare professionals from over 100 countries. Usdelivered the letterUK Government and COP27 officials welcome Egypt to events planned as part of the Health Scheme on Gender Equality, Science and Innovation Day. don't lose yourselfit is videowho carried the messages of the letter and brought the voices of healthcare professionals to COP26.

The eye-catching oversized version of #ClimateRecipe was a great conversation starter, leading to international coverage, and we're seeing the collective message of urgent action reaching ministers and negotiators alike. This has been crucial to ongoing efforts in the final days of COP26 to ensure health protection is included in the final commitments from the negotiations.

healthy NDCs

Thursday, November 4th
Jess Beagley, Political Analyst

Earlier this week, GCHA hosted a hybrid panel that brought together speakers from and outside the COP26 site to discuss health in NDCs.
The event opened with a speech by Hon. Physician Luis Moscoso, Colombia's Deputy Minister of Public Health and Service Delivery, who provided an overview of the myriad ways in which health is being integrated into Colombia's NDC, including adaptation, co-benefits and cost-efficiency considerations.

(Video) Communicating climate change through health: a perspective from the UN climate negotiations

The doctor. Kol Hero, Director of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Cambodian Ministry of Health, highlighted the rapid progress being made in improving the health sector's response to climate change in several of Cambodia's most vulnerable provinces and looks forward to promoting it at the national level to expand. Cambodia and Colombia are among the top-scoring countries on the GCHA Healthy NDC Scorecard.

Buoyed by the good start of these world leaders, the next phase of the session looked at adaptation actions and co-benefits around the world. After an overview of the GCHA Scorecard, participants heard from Dr. Daniel Buss from PAHO, Lourdes Sánchez from the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Patty Fong from the Global Alliance for the Future of Food who visited the steps in the Americas, Bangladesh, China, the EU, Kenya, Pakistan and Vanuatu. PAHO has produced a report on improving health and climate commitments in the updated NDCs, IISD is working closely with WHO to provide technical support for including health in the NDCs, and the Global Partnership for the Future of Food has included rated of food and agriculture. Considerations in NDCs and the range of processes involved.

While the technical challenges that have shaped much of the global pandemic have also seeped into this event, the virtual platforms also provided an opportunity to hear from leading experts from around the world.

Earth to COP

Tuesday, November 2nd
Sophie Smith - Operations Manager

The opening ceremony of the World Leaders Summit began with bagpipes and Professor Sir Brian Cox reminded us of the wondrous importance and fragility of our homeland: Earth, our little blue dot. It's been an exciting start, but maybe that's speaking like someone from Scotland.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson duly followed suit, welcoming world leaders to Glasgow, a city steeped in industrial history that was the birthplace of the steam engine some 250 years ago. It was then, he said, that "the doomsday clock started ticking." The extended metaphor of world leaders like James Bond stopping a deadly bomb was true, but I wondered if some in the room should be considered the villains of the story.

As the great and good listened to these rousing speeches, hundreds lined up in front of theNovemberwetter. (GCHA staff took over an hour to get in and discussions with colleagues were quick!) Civil society organizations have expressed dismay at the limited capacity of observers and there are growing concerns about the legitimacy of the process if the Leaders cannot be held accountable.

Back in the warm and well-lit conference center, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that by inaction we are digging our own graves, HRH Prince Charles noted that the IPCC diagnosis warranted a war situation, and Sir David Attenborough sparked a war cry. Turning tragedy into triumph and highlighting that those who have contributed the least to climate change are having the greatest impact.

(Video) UN High-Level event: The Health Argument of Climate Action: The COP26 Health Programme (November 9)

The three statesmen (I intentionally include Sir David in this category) made thoughtful and motivational speeches, but it was Brianna Fruean's testimony., 23 years old, environmentalist from Samoa;Txai Suruí, a 24-year-old indigenous climate activist from Brazil; Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados and advocate for Kenyan youthsaid Elizabethit really made the room sit up and listen.

Each of these women spoke with insight, passion, and a sense of urgency that cannot be overstated. They asked world leaders to open their heartsin realitylead and finally act: vulnerable nations and future generations will not survive on empty promises.

Ultimately, the films, poems and speeches by politicians and climate activists provided a stunning reminder that what is being debated at the COP is not just dry politics, it is very real, very urgent and very emotional.

A recipe for leaders at COP26

October 31st
Alison Cox, Director of Policy and Research

Alok Sharma's first success on the opening day of COP26 was agreement on the conference agenda, following the outcome of the G20 summit in Rome, which raised some hopes of progress in Glasgow. Concerns remain about the complexity and number of negotiations reflected in this agenda and in the parallel agenda of the Presidency's consultations.

Another logistical issue that arose on Sunday was that despite 40,000 registrations, it was announced that the venue's capacity would be limited to 10,000 per day. Civil society groups raise concerns about transparency due to limited access to observe the main meetings.

On a more positive note, it was great to hear the impressive health picture presented by India Logan-Riley, representative of Indigenous peoples on the east coast of New Zealand, at the opening of COP26 on Sunday. She described how the 2019 Australian bushfires threatened her family's health with asthma:"Our health is linked to the actions of our global neighbors."

IsRecipe for a healthy climatearrived in Glasgow on Sunday, carried by the #ridefortheirlives team of 30 children's hospital staff and a patient who had cycled 850km through wind and rain from London in the last seven days. Signed by more than 500 organizations representing 46 million health workers worldwide, the letter calls on all nations at COP26 to recognize the climate crisis as the greatest health threat we face this century. Warming to 1.5°C by 2050.

dr Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, head of the WHO climate department, from Dr. Tedros in charge of the deliveryWHO COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Healthand the Healthy Climate Revenue Letter personally signed by you.

(Video) Update on COP26 Health and Climate Programme

Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal, who joined the cyclists on the final leg to Glasgow, urged the leaders gathered at COP26 to heed her message:“They trust healthcare workers during the pandemic. Now trust us when we say: 'It's time for climate protection, now!'”

Finally GCHAOpening speechabout the negotiations, in a press release today, is thatWorld leaders must make health and social justice the beating heart of the COP26 negotiations… by putting health and social justice ahead of politics, profit and unproven technological solutions.”


1. UK Health Alliance on Climate Change
(BMJ company)
2. COP26: BBC News: Jeni Miller Global Climate and Health Alliance
(Global Climate and Health Alliance)
3. 2021 Global Conference on Health and Climate Change - Part 1
(Global Climate and Health Alliance)
4. Healthy, Regenerative and Just: Launching a new framework for climate, health and wellbeing
(Climate and Health Alliance)
5. PD 11 - Climate Change and Health - World Health Summit 2020
(World Health Summit)
6. WHO: The Health Argument of Climate Action: The COP26 Health Programme
(UN Climate Change - Events)
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