The 18th international climate change conference (COP18) kicked off this Monday 26 November and will continue until Friday, 7 December in Doha, Qatar.
This is an unique opportunity to articulate the public health community’s main messages on global warming and raise awareness on the serious public health effects of climate change.
‘You cannot tackle hunger, disease, and poverty unless you can also provide people with a healthy ecosystem’ – Gro Harlem Brundtland
What is the Doha Declaration all about?
Building upon last year’s successful climate and health summit an informal alliance of health organisations around the world has prepared a statement accompanying the summit.
The position paper details why health experts are extremely worried about the slow progress at the international climate negotiations, and highlights why health co-benefits can be important argument for ambitious climate mitigation.
What is the main aim of the Doha Declaration?
As a joint statement from the global health community, the paper reiterates policy demands from the Durban declaration and Call to action 2011, and applies the core ideas from the Durban climate and health summit to most recent knowledge and a growing level of urgency.
Which are the main health impacts of climate change?
- Increases in heat-related deaths, injury and disability, especially in the elderly, children, pregnant women and those with chronic disease;
- Deaths and injuries from flooding, with exacerbated negative consequences in developing countries;
- Migration of plants and pollens causing prolonged allergy season and new allergies;
- The spread of infectious and vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, schistosomiasis, and Lyme disease as a result of warming temperatures at expanding latitudes and elevations;
- Increased hazards from sewage and chemical pollution;
- Climate-change induced famines and malnutrition;
- Exacerbation of water- and food-borne diseases.
The 3 main calls from the global public health community
- The health impacts of climate change to be taken into account domestically and globally
- Investment in climate mitigation and adaptation to be significantly increased on a rapid timescale
- The health sector and the community to be engaged and informed on climate action
Health must be central to climate action – EPHA considers important that the European public health community supports the efforts made by the global health community to highlight the existing links among Climate, Health & Well-being
– How can your organisation sign up to the Doha Declaration?
– How can YOU, as a private person, sign up to the Doha Declaration?
Other relevant health and climate statements:
• Cancun Climate and Health Statement, Mexico, December 2010 (available in English, French and Spanish)
The “Cancun Climate and Health Statement” was launched in December 2010 calls on negotiators to consider the ‘real costs’ of climate change and the benefits of strong action by taking the human health dimension into account.”
“The COP17 climate change negotiations brought together an unprecedented global health coalition and a Durban Climate and Health Declaration was adopted in a parallel Climate and Health Summit that sent a resounding message to UNFCCC negotiators.
The Climate and Health Declaration highlights that urgent replacement of fossil fuel-based energy with clean renewable energy is vital, as fossil fuels cause “immense harm” to both climate and health and urges governments to adopt an ambitious, fair and binding treaty by 2015, and to commit to equitable contributions to a green climate fund to assist adaptation and mitigation strategies to support human health.”
“The BMJ Climate, Security and Health far reaching statement was issued at a conference on the health and security implications of climate change in London on 17th October 2011, and has been signed by more than 500 leading medical scientists, doctors, security experts and advocacy groups.”
– EPHA members are welcome to join this campaign and share this information among their networks.
If you have any further ideas about promoting the campaign, do not hesitate to contact the EPHA Secretariat: Zoltán Massay-Kosubek at email@example.com and/or Javier Delgado Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Further reading: The inter-connections between health and climate change, The Guardian.
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