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HEAL on the road to COP22

As the world is still rejoicing over the strong COP21 Paris climate agreement, HEAL and its members are already engaging with the health community to keep up the strong call for health in climate negotiations at COP22 in Marrakesh.

Almost 500 Heads of States, Governments and Ministers attended this year’s UNFCCC COP (‘Conference of the Parties’), which took place in Marrakesh from 7 to 18 November. HEAL participated with a delegation from India, Turkey, Belgium, France and Morocco who worked closely with global and regional organisations from the health and environment community to put healthy energy on the agenda of the climate negotiations.

Caption: The HEAL delegation together with various public health actors incl. WHO representatives during a health sector gathering

TAKE ACTION: Sign on to the Declaration for Health, Environment and Climate Change

Gathering at the COP22 climate meeting in Marrakech, over two dozen Ministers and high level officials from both the health and environment sectors signed up to the Declaration for Health, Environment and Climate Change. The goal is to reduce the annual 12.6 million deaths caused by environmental pollution, including the estimated 6.5 million deaths a year attributable to air pollution, via a new global initiative to promote better management of environmental and climate risks to health. Organisations & individuals can sign this declaration at:

The Paris Agreement

This year’s COP witnessed the very first session of the “Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement” (CMA1) bringing together countries to discuss the steps following the ratification of the Paris Agreement. So far, 112 out of 197 Parties have ratified to the Agreement which entered into force on 4 November 2016.

Although the Paris Agreement attracted new signatories just days before COP22 started, according to the former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, only 15 countries mention health in their national climate action plans. This year’s COP therefore proved an opportunity for the health and medical community to showcase their expertise, knowledge, initiatives, lesson learned and political commitments on health, environment and climate, to make sure that climate action benefits health worldwide.

HEAL activities at COP22

Building on the much-welcomed climate agreement of the previous year, HEAL used COP22 as an opportunity to continue to raise awareness on how healthy energy helps governments around the world to reach the goals set in the Paris Agreement and how it greatly improves health. During various activities taking place in Marrakesh, the official HEAL delegation amplified the voice of medical and health professionals, working closely with medical associations around the world and the WHO.

Caption: HEAL at COP22, Marrakesh

Health Action Day, 11th November 2016

It was the first time in the history of COP, that the role of health in the climate debate was acknowledged with its own official “action day”.

The Health Action Day, organised under the leadership of the Climate Champions Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for Climate Change, and Hakima El Haité, Minister Delegate in charge of the Environment to the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment of Morocco together with the World Health Organization (WHO), provided participants with an update on the Health Action Agenda approved at the Second Global Conference on Health and Climate, (7-8 November 2016, Paris). More importantly, it provided an overview of actions that the global public health community is undertaking to ensure support for health and climate, address health risks and opportunities arising from climate change and measure country progress.

HEAL’s head of delegation, Vijoleta Gordeljevic gave a presentation on the climate movement´s new champions: doctors and other health professionals active around climate mitigation by influencing local energy decisions in countries worldwide and hence, decreasing air pollution while contributing to the Paris Agreement.

Caption: HEAL’s Vijoleta Gordeljevic giving a presentation at COP22

Read our full analysis and report here.

Want to find out more?
Since 2009, HEAL has regularly sent delegations to the COP negotiations, highlighting the benefits of tackling climate change for better health, framing climate mitigation policies through health co-benefits. This year, HEAL’s delegation includes members and partners from India, Turkey, Morocco, France, and Belgium. To find out more about our COP22 health delegation, please contact us at

Read all about our latest campaign to accelerate the end of fossil fuel subsidies to benefit health here.

Find out more about our activities last year at COP21 in Paris here

HEAL is a member of the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA), the WHO European region’s Health in Climate (HIC) Task Force, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Health Task Force, a partner of the Healthy Energy Initiative, a member of the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution and co-coordinator of the CHE Climate Change and health working group.

Last updated on 20 December 2016

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 »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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