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WHO unveils recommendations for climate action to ensure sustained recovery from COVID-19

2021-10-13

GENEVA - The World Health Organization (WHO) issued ten recommendations on Monday on how governments can maximize the health benefits of tackling climate change in a variety of sectors, thereby avoiding the worst health impact of the climate crisis.

Ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, WHO released its COP26 special report, "The Health Argument for Climate Action."

The ten WHO recommendations highlight the urgent need, and numerous opportunities for governments to prioritize health and equity in the international climate regime and sustainable development agenda. Above all, the WHO urges governments to commit to a healthy, green recovery from COVID-19.

"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," said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"WHO calls on all countries to commit to decisive action at COP26 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius -- not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it's in our own interests," he added.

The report comes as unprecedented extreme weather events and other climate impacts are taking a rising toll on people's lives and health. Increasingly frequent heatwaves, storms and floods, have killed thousands and disrupted millions of lives. Changes in weather and climate are also threatening food security, driving up disease, and negatively affecting mental health.

"Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity," the report says. "While no one is safe from the health impacts of climate change, they are disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable and disadvantaged."

As well as recovery from COVID-19, the report also puts health and social justice at the heart of the UN climate talks. It calls for a fair and inclusive transition to renewable energy, particularly from coal combustion, and promotes sustainable, healthy urban design and transport systems, as well as more affordable, nutritious diets.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said COP26 is a crucial opportunity to fulfill the promise of the Paris Agreement.

That means reducing emissions to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels; providing 100 billion U.S. dollars each year to the developing world for climate action, and financial support for mitigation and adaptation, the UN chief said at a ministerial meeting in Milan, Italy, via a video link last month.


From : China Daily

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