04/12/18

7 Million Unacceptable Deaths – Combatting Air Pollution and Climate Change to Protect Our Health

WEDNESDAY 5 DECEMBER (13:15—14:45 ROOM 3) VENUE: Meeting Room 3
KATOWICE, POLAND

 

Special COP24 Health and Climate Change Report

During COP23, the High Level Presidency Event on Health, the Hon PM Bainimarama led a call for the World Health Organisation to develop a report on health and climate change to be delivered at COP24.

Article 1 of the UNFCCC, defines the “adverse effects of climate change” as changes that have “significant deleterious effects… on human health and welfare.” Further, Article 4.1 (f) mandates that parties conduct “impact assessments, formulated and determined nationally, with a view to minimizing adverse effects on… public health” when implementing mitigation and adaptation interventions, based on the best available science, in a manner that informs climate services and supports decision-making.

Additionally, there is a high-level political commitment to protecting and promoting human health, reflected in the 2015 Paris Agreement and its pre-ambulatory text, which explicitly acknowledges that “Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on… the right to health…”, and recognises the centrality of “mitigation actions and their co-benefits for adaptation, health and sustainable development” as a key justification for enhanced action prior to 2020. Furthermore, the Paris Agreement states that the objective of the Agreement is to “strengthen the global response to climate change, in the context of sustainable development”, and thereby links the climate change agenda to Agenda 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals which have a near term perspective for action.

Moreover, under international human rights law, States also have a legally binding obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the human right to health for all persons which requires they take action to prevent foreseeable harms posed by climate change.

Given the above and the growing evidence on the health impacts of climate change, the health co-benefits of climate action (including health benefits of enhanced action on short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon and methane), and the important role that the health sector plays in every country, there is a need to increase the understanding of this dimension of the climate issue so as to best meet the goals of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.

Scope of the event

This COP24 side event will showcase the Health and Climate Change report findings and recommendations. It will provide 1) a global state of knowledge on the interconnection between climate change and health issues and 2) an overview of the initiatives and tools through which the public health community at country, regional and global level is currently supporting and scaling-up actions to implement the Paris Agreement, for a healthier and more sustainable society.[1]

OUTLINE OF THE EVENT

Moderator: Dr Maria Neira, Director PHE, WHO

Short Opening remarks by:

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (video message 2 min)

Mr Michal Kurtyka, SECRETARY of STATE, GOVERNAMENT PLENIPOTENTIARY for the PRESIDENCY of the Conference of the PARTIES (COP24), Ministry of Environment Republic of Poland (TBC)

Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

H.E. Luke Daunivalu, High Commission of the Republic of Fiji, COP23 Chief Negotiator

Video Message from Jemima Vivien Hartshorn, founder of Mums for Lungs

Technical Presentation by:

Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, World Health Organization: COP24 Health and Climate Change – the ppt will be prepared in collaboration and with the inputs of all the collaborating agency and will provide the following information: 

  1. A global state of knowledge on the interconnection between climate change and health.
  2. An general overview of the initiatives and tools through which the public health community, at the country, regional and global level, is currently supporting and scaling-up actions to implement the Paris Agreement, for a healthier and more sustainable society.
  3. Recommendations for UNFCCC negotiators on how to maximise the health benefits of tackling climate change and avoid the worst health impacts of this global challenges.

Moderated Panel discussions

Elena Manaenkova, WMO Deputy Secretary General (Strengthening met services to support health sector preparedness to the risk of climate change) (TBC)

Joy St John, WHO Assistant Director-General, Climate and other Determinants of Health, and

Amjad Abdulla (Mr.), Director, Climate Change, Climate Change Department Maldives and AOSIS Chief Negotiator  (Strengthening health care systems in Small Island Developing  States)

Dan McDougall, Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived  Climate Pollutants (CCAC) (Addressing SLCP under the Paris Agreement)