New WHO report demands urgent action on climate and health crises

With the United Nations summit just around the corner, the newly released COP26 Special Report calls on governments and policymakers to act with urgency on the current climate and health crises. 

As stated in the report, the recommendations were developed in consultation with over 150 organizations and 400 experts and health professionals.

One main warning the World Health Organization (WHO) report argues is that “the burning of fossil fuels is killing us. [It is] causing millions of premature deaths every year through air pollutants, costing the global economy billions of dollars annually, and fueling the climate crisis.”

According to Common Dreams, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlights that human-caused global heating is impacting droughts, extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the intimate and delicate links between humans, animals and our environment. The same unsustainable choices that are killing our planet are killing people,” says Ghebreyesus. 

The report gives 10 priorities “to safeguard the world:”

  1. Commit to a healthy, green and just recovery from COVID-19.
  2. Make COP26 the ‘Health COP’, placing health and social justice at the heart of discussions.
  3. Prioritize climate interventions with the largest health-, social- and economic gains.
  4. Build climate resilient health systems, and support health adaptation across sectors.
  5. Transition to renewable energy, to save lives from air pollution.
  6. Promote sustainable, healthy urban design and transport systems. 
  7. Protect and restore nature and ecosystems. 
  8. Promote sustainable food supply chains and diets for climate and health outcomes. 
  9. Transition towards a wellbeing economy. 
  10. Mobilize and support the health community on climate action.

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