COP 28: Delegates bat for tackling health impacts of climate change, scaling up digital climate action

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COP 28: Delegates bat for tackling health impacts of climate change, scaling up digital climate action
COP 28: Delegates bat for tackling health impacts of climate change, scaling up digital climate action

Attendees and leaders at COP28 in Dubai on Saturday (December 2, 2023) known as for stronger and extra resilient world health techniques, that are indispensable to defending populations from the adverse impacts of climate change on health.

COP 28: Delegates bat for tackling health impacts of climate change, scaling up digital climate action
A boy ready for his college bus within the Songinokhairkhan district of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the place air air pollution ranges are dangerously excessive.Phoo Courtesy:  UNICEF/Mungunkhishig Batbaatar

Ahead of the primary ever ‘Health Day’ at a UN climate convention, delegates signed onto a brand new declaration on climate and health and individually thought-about the function of digital know-how can play in climate action.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the brand new declaration, which goals to assist speed up actions to guard individuals from rising climate impacts, together with by strengthening collaboration to cut back emissions and by rising finance for climate and health options.

“The climate disaster is a health disaster, however for too lengthy, health has been a footnote in climate discussions,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus instructed delegates gathered in an auditorium in Dubai’s iconic Expo City, the place a lot of the action at COP28 has been happening this far.

According to WHO, the climate disaster drives the intense climate that’s taking lives around the globe. Moreover, the identical emissions which might be warming our planet are additionally poisoning the air we breathe.

WHO estimates that air air pollution kills some seven million individuals worldwide yearly, whereas thousands and thousands of persons are uncovered to excessive weather-related occasions annually.

Reducing the health impacts of climate change calls for action throughout all of society, together with steps to decarbonize vitality techniques to cut back emissions by no less than 43 p.c over the following seven years.

“WHO thanks the [United Arab Emirates] for making health a key precedence in its COP28 Presidency, and welcomes this Declaration, which emphasizes the necessity to construct climate-resilient and low-carbon health techniques, to guard the health of each planet and folks,” Dr. Tedros added.

Declaration forward of ‘Health Day’

Signed on Saturday by 123 nations, the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health acknowledges the necessity for governments to guard communities and put together healthcare techniques to deal with climate-related health impacts similar to excessive warmth, air air pollution and infectious ailments.

It has been developed with the assist of a quantity of ‘nation champions’, together with Brazil, Malawi, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Kenya, Fiji, India, Egypt, Sierra Leone, and Germany, in line with the COP28 presidency.

“The impacts of climate change are already at our door. They have develop into one of the best threats to human health within the twenty first century. Governments have now rightly acknowledged health as a vital aspect of climate action” mentioned Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President.

The Declaration covers a variety of action areas on the nexus of climate and health, together with:

Building extra climate-resilient health techniques;

Strengthening cross-sectoral collaboration to cut back emissions;

Maximizing the health advantages of climate action; and

Increasing finance for climate and health options.

Digital climate action

This second and ultimate day of the COP28 World Climate Action Summit additionally featured an occasion on ‘Green Digital Action’ hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) spotlighting the function of digital applied sciences on the forefront of climate action.

Information and communication applied sciences (ICTs) applied sciences are instrumental in climate monitoring, constructing resilience to climate change, and deploying early warning techniques.

They may play a significant function in mitigation efforts, together with boosting vitality effectivity, constructing inexperienced networks and aiding the transition in the direction of a inexperienced financial system.

However, the speedy uptake of knowledge and units will increase the sector’s vitality consumption, emissions, materials use and e-waste worldwide.

“Green Digital Action is a step in the best route, however all of us should do extra. Now. Together,” ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin instructed the gathering on the Global Innovation Hub of UN Climate Change.

COP28 is a chance to showcase the worth of digital climate action in addition to elevate ambition to cut back the footprint of the ICT sector, contributing to restrict the temperature improve to 1.5°C, in line with ITU.

“We should construct a future the place digital know-how and climate action go hand in hand. This future is feasible. It is our solely alternative,” the ITU chief added.

Following the high-level opening of the Green Digital Action Track, potential of know-how for environmental options will probably be highlighted over the course of the following a number of days.

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