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HEAL at UN Climate Summit

On 22 and 23 September, HEAL joined health groups, civil society and world leaders in New York for a landmark UN Climate Summit. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming.

Heads of government from around the world re-engaged in the climate debate to signal their support for the strong global agreement that is due at UN talks in Paris in 2015. At the end of the Summit, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed the meeting, saying ‘never before have so many leaders gathered to commit to action on climate change’. China pledged for the first time to take firm action on climate change, telling the UN Summit that its emissions, the world’s highest, would soon peak. President Obama said climate change was moving faster than efforts to address it, and the US and China had the responsibility to lead other nations.

A comprehensive global vision on climate change emerged from the statements of leaders at the Summit. World leaders agreed that bold action is needed to reduce emissions with the EU countries committed to a target of reducing emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Leaders acknowledged that moving markets across a range of sectors is essential for transforming economies at scale and mobilising sufficient public and private funds for low carbon, climate resilient growth is essential to keep within a less than 2 degree Celsius pathway.

During the Summit, global leaders, policy experts and civil society discussed topics including the need for science-based decision making, generating jobs and enhancing resilience and reducing pollution for improved health. HEAL’s Executive Director Génon K. Jensen participated in a thematic session focused on the health benefits of climate action, and the pathway towards a sustainable and healthy future. Genon also participated in a panel discussion addressing air quality, climate and energy at a UN side event, and she was specially invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Summit.

The video is available here from the Panel discussion ’Clearing The Air: The Health and Climate Benefits of Cleaner Energy’ where Genon is speaking.

Prior to the Summit, Genon walked the streets of New York with public health advocates, doctors, nurses and other health professionals and civil society in the largest ‘People’s Climate March’ in history with 310,000 people marching for climate justice in New York alone.

This march was just one of many across the globe to demand with an economy that works for people and the planet, a world safe from the dangers of climate change, and a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.

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Last updated on 17 December 2014

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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