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Health and medical organisations convene successful Climate and Health Summit in Warsaw

On 16 November the 2nd International Climate and Health Summit took place in Warsaw alongside the official UNFCCC COP19 climate negotiations. The Summit was organised by the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) together with the World Medical Association and supported by the WHO. HEAL is a founding member of the Alliance and the local convening partner of the Summit.

The full day Summit emphasised the urgent need to prioritise the protection and promotion of health within global and national policy responses to climate change. With a turnout of over 250 participants, the Summit proved to be a success with inspiring presentations from policy experts, medical professionals and students, scientists, doctors, and UN climate negotiators.

The Summit highlighted the dangerous impacts of climate change on human well-being, the health benefits of mitigation and current efforts to make the health system more sustainable. HEAL’s Coal and Health Officer Julia Huscher gave an insightful presentation on air pollution, energy and health focusing on the co-benefits to health and highlighting our recent European coal and health campaign.

HEAL Executive Director Genon K. Jensen spoke later in the day on an expert panel deliberating how to build a political road map for the international health community to work towards the 2015 climate negotiations in Paris.

In a joint press release sent out before the Summit, HEAL highlighted the need to involve medical and health experts more in climate discussions in order to reduce the health impacts.

“The GCHA can help reframe the climate debate from a ‘cost to industry’ to a ’benefit for health’. The Alliance calls for more attention to be given to the massive improvements for public health that can be reaped from cleaner air associated with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. More investment is needed to involve medical and health experts in drawing on the research that exists which quantifies the benefits for lung and heart health of reducing emissions overall and of phasing out coal in electricity generation in particular.” Genon Jensen - Executive Director, Health and Environment Alliance (Europe)

There were also lively updates from the Summit throughout the day via Twitter with active participation from HEAL, Healthy Planet UK, Health Care without Harm (HCWH), speakers, and medical students, to name just a few.

Download the press release here

Check out our tweets here @HealthandEnv and visit our new coal and health Facebook page here

Last updated on 29 November 2013

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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