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WHO working group meeting: Building capacity for climate action to benefit health

On 23-24 June, HEAL’s Health and Climate Change Coordinator attended the fifth meeting of the WHO working group on health in climate change (HIC). HEAL is an active member of this group which acts as a catalyst in promoting the implementation of the climate change and health commitments of the Parma Ministerial declaration.

The Working Group is now also the implementation mechanism in the WHO European Region of the health-related issues of the Paris Climate Agreement, which states that Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider the right to health.

The fifth HIC meeting aimed to bring working group members together to:

- Discuss modalities for scaling up health in adaptation plans;

- Identify priorities and policy options, measures and strategies to address health in the national determined contributions (NDCs) agreed to in Paris;

- Discuss implementation mechanisms on health and climate change under the sustainable development goals (SDGs);

- Identify possible and desirable regional priority targets on health and climate change to be reviewed in the preparation of the outcomes of the next Ministerial Conference, and;

- Agree on HIC activities leading up to the next Ministerial Conference.

The meeting resulted in the identification of three actions and associated targets on climate change and health:

- The need to strengthen resilience and human and institutional adaptive capacity for climate-related health hazards and natural disasters;

- To integrate evidence-based health measures and assess climate change risks in relevant national policies, strategies and planning, and;

- To measure, reduce and manage the greenhouse gas emissions of health systems.

Originally posted on 27 July 2016

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