BERLIN, 17th October, 2023 (WAM) – The COP28 Presidency launched the ‘COP28 Declaration on Climate and Health’ as part of its commitment to make health a central element of the climate agenda. The Presidency made the announcement at the World Health Summit in Berlin, where it called on governments around the world to endorse the Declaration.
The Declaration covers a range of areas, including cross-sector collaboration on climate and health, reducing emissions within the health sector, and increasing the amount and proportion of climate financing devoted to health.
“The link between climate change and health is becoming increasingly evident every day, with diseases like malaria surging as temperatures rise, and extreme weather events impacting people around the globe,” said COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.
“The international community must act now to put health at the center of climate action before we see global health systems overwhelmed. Through the Declaration on Climate and Health we aim to help deliver public health systems that are climate-resilient, sustainable and equitable, and we urge all nations to endorse it.”
The Declaration was developed along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and with the support of a number of ‘country champions’ – including Brazil, Malawi, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Kenya, Fiji, India, Egypt, Sierra Leone, and Germany. Kenya, Fiji, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Malawi were also announced as “early endorsers” of the Declaration.
On the launch of the COP28 Declaration on Health and Climate, Minister of Health for Malawi, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda MP, said, “Malawi’s health system has been straining under the impacts of climate change on health. We need stronger and better coordinated political action, and improved finance. Malawi endorses the Declaration on climate and health, and calls on others to join in. Countries need to speak with one voice on this important issue.”
Speaking on behalf of Fiji Minister for Health and Medical Services for Fiji, Dr Ratu Atonio Rabici Lalabalavu, said, “Fiji, like all SIDS, are witnessing the devastation of climate change every day in our homes, our communities, and our health. Words and good ideas cannot stop them, only decisive actions will. We are building resilience into our infrastructure, health system and way of life. And we demand for comprehensive effort to reduce environmental pollutants that are causing the global temperatures to rise, tide levels at our shorelines to increase, and cyclones in our region more ferocious. Waiting is not an option; we must act now!”.
The World Health Summit, running from 15-17 October, is being held under the theme of “A Defining Year for Global Health Action” and brings together stakeholders from politics, science, the private sector, and civil society to set the global health agenda.