WHO / CLIMATE CHANGE HEALTH

11-Oct-2021 00:04:08
The World Health Organization (WHO) Special Report on Climate Change and Health, launched today, in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, spells out the global health community’s prescription for climate action based on a growing body of research that establishes the many and inseparable links between climate and health. WHO
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STORY: WHO / CLIMATE CHANGE HEALTH
TRT: 04:08
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 OCTOBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, press conference
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr María Neira, Director, Environment, Climate Change and Health Department, World Health Organization (WHO):
“As you well know, in a few weeks, we will have the COP26 and everybody says that this COP has to be special, especially in the level of ambition and solutions and action and interventions proposed, political courage as well, and exceptional in the speed at which those decisions need to be taken. And this is why the health community broadly, because it's WHO, of course, but behind and in partnership with WHO, there are many, many health professionals in the broad sense that decided to join us on this call for putting the health argument really at the centre to accelerate the negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow this year. So, we all hope that this recovery after COVID-19 could incorporate our health arguments because we are convinced that health will be the motivation to do much more and to accelerate action on climate change."
3. Wide shot, press conference
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr María Neira, Director, Environment, Climate Change and Health Department, World Health Organization (WHO):
"We have 45 million health professionals joining us on this call for a COP26 with a health argument at the centre, and where health will be benefiting for all the action that needs to be taken. The number is growing every day, so it's just 45 million today, but I'm sure it's growing."
5. Wide shot, press conference
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr María Neira, Director, Environment, Climate Change and Health Department, World Health Organization (WHO):
"What is the health argument? Well, the health argument for COP26 for climate action is the following: We know that climate change is affecting our health, that has been clearly demonstrated. Diarmid maybe later can elaborate a little bit more on that. But we know very well that climate change is affecting the pillars of our health, food, water and the quality of the air and shelter. So, as you can imagine, all of that will represent a major risk for our health. And therefore, we need to invest on adaptation to climate change, on more resilient health care facilities and systems, in a more resilient society. But the positive message on the health argument is that whatever you do to tackle the causes of climate change will have enormous benefits for the health of the people."
7. Wide shot, press conference
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Team Lead, Climate Change and Health Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"One of the big constraints that is often put forward for climate action is that it costs money. In fact, if you take into account the health gains, it saves money. IMF recently came out with a report that estimated that we are currently, as the globe, financing the fossil fuel industry to the tune of about $5.9 trillion dollars a year. That's about $11 million dollars a minute, and about half of that is the unpaid health costs of air pollution and so on. So, we can save that money, get the health gains if we were to put it into healthier energy systems."
9. Wide shot, press conference
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Howard Catton, CEO, International Council of Nurses:
"Health care professionals have of course been at the forefront of responding to COVID. They've seen up close and often far too personally, the impact of a lack of preparedness of our health systems on their health as well as on patients. And it is why they have seen how investing in health rapidly also impacts on our whole way of life. Health care professionals have said to me, 'If you think COVID is bad when it comes to climate change, you ain't seen nothing yet.' It's the grandmother of all health threats. COVID and climate change are compounding each other, and they're adding pressures on already weak health systems and staff. And it's why business as usual is not an option. And it's why now we need to truly have health at the centre of all our policies energy, transport, agriculture, water and food."
11. Wide shot, press conference
STORYLINE
The World Health Organization (WHO) Special Report on Climate Change and Health, launched today (11 Oct), in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, spells out the global health community’s prescription for climate action based on a growing body of research that establishes the many and inseparable links between climate and health.

Dr María Neira, who is the Director of the WHO’s Environment, Climate Change and Health Department, “many health professionals” have decided to join the WHO’s call for “putting the health argument really at the centre to accelerate the negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow this year.”

Neira said, “we have 45 million health professionals joining us on this call for a COP26 with a health argument at the centre, and where health will be benefiting for all the action that needs to be taken. The number is growing every day, so it's just 45 million today, but I'm sure it's growing."

She said, “we know that climate change is affecting our health, that has been clearly demonstrated” and added, “we know very well that climate change is affecting the pillars of our health, food, water and the quality of the air and shelter. So, as you can imagine, all of that will represent a major risk for our health.”

Neira stressed that “we need to invest on adaptation to climate change, on more resilient health care facilities and systems, in a more resilient society,” as “whatever you do to tackle the causes of climate change will have enormous benefits for the health of the people."

The Team Lead of WHO’s Climate Change and Health Programme, Dr Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, said, "one of the big constraints that is often put forward for climate action is that it costs money. In fact, if you take into account the health gains, it saves money. IMF recently came out with a report that estimated that we are currently, as the globe, financing the fossil fuel industry to the tune of about $5.9 trillion dollars a year. That's about $11 million dollars a minute, and about half of that is the unpaid health costs of air pollution and so on. So, we can save that money, get the health gains if we were to put it into healthier energy systems."

For his part, the CEO of the International Council of Nurses, Howard Catton, said, “health care professionals have of course been at the forefront of responding to COVID. They've seen up close and often far too personally, the impact of a lack of preparedness of our health systems on their health as well as on patients. And it is why they have seen how investing in health rapidly also impacts on our whole way of life. Health care professionals have said to me, 'If you think COVID is bad when it comes to climate change, you ain't seen nothing yet.' It's the grandmother of all health threats. COVID and climate change are compounding each other, and they're adding pressures on already weak health systems and staff. And it's why business as usual is not an option. And it's why now we need to truly have health at the centre of all our policies energy, transport, agriculture, water and food."

WHO’s COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Health, The Health Argument for Climate Action, provides 10 recommendations for governments on how to maximize the health benefits of tackling climate change in a variety of sectors, and avoid the worst health impacts of the climate crisis.

The recommendations are the result of extensive consultations with health professionals, organizations and stakeholders worldwide, and represent a broad consensus statement from the global health community on the priority actions governments need to take to tackle the climate crisis, restore biodiversity, and protect health.
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