Health groups call on the leaders of the Western Balkan countries to harmonize national air quality standards with the World Health Organization Global air quality guidelines. Health experts should be actively involved in these decision-making processes to ensure the timely integration of public health measures into environmental policies. Compliance with WHO recommendations brings multiple benefits – reduced incidence of chronic diseases and premature deaths, reduced overall health costs and, most importantly, better health and higher productivity of people.
This month HEAL joined a Civil20 (C20) summit in Hamburg, which brought together over 300 civil society organisations to advise G20 governments on how to achieve a fossil-free future.
On 18-19 June, HEAL’s Climate Change and Health Coordinator Vijoleta Gordeljevic joined the Civil20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, which brought together over 300 civil society organisations from all regions of the world to advise G20 governments on how to achieve ‘The World We Want’ through interactive sessions and panels.
The Civil20 (C20) functions as a platform for civil society organisations from around the world to engage with and influence G20 governments on key issues facing our world today. By identifying shared priorities and policy recommendations, the C20 works together to promote breaking concepts with relevant G20 decision-makers. Each year, the C20 is coordinated by organisations from the G20 host country and took place this year in Hamburg, Germany, ahead of the G20 Summit that will be taking place on 8-9 July.
Participants engaged in workshops, followed keynote speeches and presented their recommendations to the G20 presidency in an official Communiqué, handed over to German Chancellor Angela Merkel who herself participated in the final panel discussion. The agenda of the Civil20 Summit consisted of multiple items discussed in parallel sessions during the two days. Climate, energy, global health and fossil fuel subsidies were covered substantially at various moments, for example during workshops on ‘carbon pricing & fossil fuel subsidy reform in the G20’, ‘the climate and energy agenda within the G20’, ‘environmental protection’ and ‘global health in the G20’.
HEAL’s attendance was specifically tailored to discuss fossil fuel subsidies with leading civil society organisations from over 60 countries and shared experiences, bundled forces and used the health argument to push governments for greater climate action. HEAL contributed to many discussions, predominantly related to fossil fuel subsidies and air pollution and drew attention to HEAL’s ‘Choose Health – End Fossil Fuel Subsidies’ campaign.
HEAL welcomes the final C20 Communiqué which can be found here and which specifically mentions the urgent need to phase out harmful fossil fuel subsidies.