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Health NGO Reacts To Signing Of COP28 Declaration On Climate And Health By Over 120 Countries

Reacting to today’s announcement that 123 governments have now endorsed the COP28 Declaration on Climate and Health:

“We welcome today’s announcement of 123 countries endorsing the COP28 Declaration on Climate and Health,” said Dr Jeni Miller, Executive Director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance “For COP28 to go down in history as the first ‘Health COP’, it will be necessary for governments to sustain this focus on health throughout the negotiations, and to take real action to protect people’s health - including the phase-out of fossil fuels, additional finance to address the impacts of climate change, and making health a fundamental measure of our progress and success on climate action.”

Also announced this morning was a total of 1 billion USD in financing for climate and health, including from the Green Climate Fund, Asian Development Bank, Global Fund, and Rockefeller Foundation.

“Finance for climate and health unlocks action which benefits both people and the planet. This $1 billion sum is a tremendous addition to current levels of climate and health finance,” said Jess Beagley, Policy Lead at the Global Climate and Health Alliance. “To some extent climate finance can better integrate benefits for health, and health finance can better integrate benefits for climate. But the intersection of climate and health has been underfunded for years and new funding is crucial. It is also key that funding for climate and health be truly new and additional, and not pulled from other key areas of climate action that are vital to protecting health, such as water and sanitation, food security, and humanitarian action”.

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Tomorrow, 3rd December, will see Ministers of Health and other senior representatives of some 90 countries and the EU come together with other ministries at the first ever COP Climate-Health Ministerial meeting, as part of COP28’s Health Day, together with other high level events. 

The Global Climate and Health Alliance joins the international health community in calling for:

  1. A full phase-out of fossil fuels is a public health imperative. Countries with the highest historic emissions must demonstrate leadership.
  2. The capitalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund in order to serve the health and other needs of communities, particularly those most impacted and least responsible for climate change.
  3. Finance for climate action across all fronts.
  4. Recognition of health as an outcome and a key measure and indicator of effective climate action

Earlier this week, the Global Climate and Health Alliance wrote to health ministers attending COP28, urging them to join the health community in demanding that the health and wellbeing of people around the world is established as a central focus and benchmark for progress during the annual climate negotiations.

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