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.
Check out HEAL’s brand new Healthy Energy Paper in English, Polish, German and Czech, which we just launched at the 6th Environment and Health conference organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Ostrava, Czech Republic! We are looking into the health risks and opportunities different energy sources and also energy savings imply.
At HEAL, our goals are phasing out fossil fuels in energy generation by 2050, replacing them with 100% renewable and safe energy sources, and encouraging energy savings, as well as eliminating all fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 in a manner that protects the poor and affected communities.
To reach these goals, we are making 5 recommendations in our Healthy Energy Paper:
– Any energy decision should be guided by Health Impact Assessments
– Energy demand should be reduced through energy efficiency and energy savings
– Energy poverty should be decreased, while increasing energy access, a just transition for workers in the energy sector should be ensured
– Health evidence and voices should be engaged and amplified
Genon K. Jensen, HEAL’s Executive Director said: “In my view, the Healthy Energy Paper is a milestone because it puts all forms of power generations next to each other for a comparison of their effects on human health. For true sustainability, we have to prioritise the energy forms that have come with the least negative impacts on our health, both in the long and the short term. One main result it shows is that the added health perspective shows that we have to phase out fossil fuel based energy forms as fast as possible both because of the large direct burden they create through emissions and the tremendous long term effect they are having causing climate change, a huge threat to public health.”