From shrinking glaciers to early blooming flowers, heavy rainfall events and severe flooding, the impacts of global climate change have already been making observable effects on both the environment and human lives. Thus, safeguarding human health from climate change impacts is more urgent than ever.
With shifting priorities, half of the countries have already developed a national health and climate change strategy or plan. Worryingly, only about 38% have finances in place to implement their respective national strategy of plan.
Recently, De Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, while talking about moral imperative, said: “Climate change is not only racking up a bill for future generations to pay, it’s a price that people are paying for now with their health.”
As per the news available on the World Health Organization, about 48% of countries have conducted an assessment of the climate risks to public health. Heat stress, injury or death from extreme weather events were identified as common climate-sensitive health risks. In spite of that, there has been no influence on the allocation of human and financial resources.
Furthermore, over 75% of the countries reported a lack of information on opportunities to access climate finance, whereas over 50% a lack of capacity to prepare proposals.
Even though, two-thirds of current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement mention health, is described as vulnerable to climate change, this has not received any support. Working on reducing carbon emissions would have far more health gains. Additionally, meeting the goals of Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide.
The health gains from cutting carbon emissions are rarely reflected in national climate commitments. For the Paris Agreement to be effective, both the public and the private sector must collaborate and work progressively to protect people’s health and environment both.