Health and climate change

11 December 2018

Article: 52/4908

A report launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, on 5 December 2018, highlights why health considerations are critical to the advancement of climate action and outlines key recommendations for policy makers.

WHO’s ‘COP24 special report: health and climate change’ provides recommendations for governments on how to maximize the health benefits of tackling climate change and avoid the worst health impacts of this global challenge.

It describes how countries around the world are now taking action to protect lives from the impacts of climate change, but that the scale of support remains inadequate, particularly for the small island developing states, and least developed countries. Only approximately 0.5% of multilateral climate funds dispersed for climate change adaptation have been allocated to health projects.

The report calls for countries to account for health in all cost-benefit analyses of climate change mitigation. It also recommends that countries use fiscal incentives such as carbon pricing and energy subsidies to incentivise sectors to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. It further encourages parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to remove existing barriers to supporting climate-resilient health systems.

The COP24 conference documents, papers and presentations papers are all available on the United Nations Climate Change website

Source: WHO, 5 December 2018