April 7 - World Health Day. The time to act.
The latest IPCC report on climate change mitigation was released this week with a pressing message: It is now or never. As the climate crisis advances, the world needs to transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy that limits emissions and helps meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
The motto of this year’s World Health Day edition is Our planet, our health, to highlight the importance of the interlinkage between human and planetary health. Coincidently, the health care sector is one of the main GHG emitters in the world. To put this in context, if the health sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet.
But around the world, the health care sector is stepping up and taking action. From NGOs and communities fighting air pollution in South Africa to health care professional associations and hospitals working on community-based advocacy on air quality and health in India, to more than 60 health institutions in the Race to Zero, committed to halving their emissions by 2030.
National and sub-national governments are also rising up to the challenge. During COP26 more than 50 countries committed to developing climate-resilient and low carbon, sustainable health systems. The Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection partnered with Health Care Without Harm to promote the decarbonization of the country’s health system. And similar examples arise around the world, setting up the agenda on how to take actions to reduce emissions.
On World Health Day, join us in working for our planet, and our health.