COP26 Special Report: the health argument for climate action

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November will be crucial for international climate action. It will have far-reaching consequences for the long-term health of our societies. As the Lancet Countdown 2020 Report explained, no continent, country, or community is immune from the health impacts of the climate crisis. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the global health community, including EPHA, are calling on governments to commit to more ambitious climate action and to a healthy recovery from COVID-19. To this end, the COP26 Special Report will gather health arguments on why and how we must tackle the climate crisis.  

This report reflects the growing evidence and availability of solutions to maximize the health benefits of tackling climate urgency. It also offers clear solutions from the global health community to policymakers. The recommendations outlined in this report hope to represent the unified voice of the global health community at the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow and beyond. 

The COP26 Special Report aims to ensure representation from across sectors, regions, and population groups, and especially the voices of the medical community. 

2021 has been designated as the International Year of Health and Care Workers in appreciation and gratitude for their dedication in the fight on the frontline against the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis has shown the importance of listening to the medical community. The roots of the health crisis have been linked to the destruction of biodiversity, the climate emergency and particularly to air pollution. Fighting air pollution and moving towards sustainable food systems today will not only help tackle the climate crisis but will also improve everyone’s health. 

Medics for Clean Air are members of the medical community from across Europe who are speaking out about the public health and climate emergency. Healthcare professionals can join this call for sustainable and urgent actions to tackle air pollution! 

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