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HEAL delegation brings health focus to COP20

During the international UN climate negotiations (UNFCCC) COP20 in Lima, Peru, HEAL’s delegation will bring the message of health and medical advocates to this important conference in the climate debate prior to the decisive meeting in Paris in 2015.

HEAL has a small delegation at COP20 in Lima, 1-12 December 2014. It is headed by Erica Parker, who is also convenor of the Climate and Health Summit organised by the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA).

Other members of the HEAL delegation are: Dr. Najwa Bourawi, President of Association pour la Protection de l’Environnement et le Développement Durable de Bizerte (APEDDUB), Tunisia, and Mariella Zoraida Siña Vicente (first week) and Enrique Martín Saldarriaga Barrón (second week), both of whom are on the Kuskaya fellowship programme at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru. Kuskaya fellowships provide support to native students for post-graduate courses and research.

Health community commitment brings gains in Lima

The Climate and Health Summit took place on Saturday, 6 December 2014 with the focus on health impacts but equally the opportunity that climate change creates to build a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable world.

Participants at the Summit heard that the health community’s strong engagement on climate change is increasingly acknowledged by international negotiators.

Full programme and Media advisory for the Summit are available from GCHA. HEAL is a founding member of this Alliance. More information here.

In a short video from the event, Nick Watts of GCHA said that the huge momentum created within the global health community was now translating into recognition of the importance of health in climate change among policy makers. “There is a sense here in Lima that the political landscape has shifted,” he said.

The video with Nick Watts was part of an “Adopt a negotiator” series and included in the Daily Tck, the newsletter of the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) published in Lima.

In a second video interview, Josh Karliner, Health Care Without Harm describes the importance of the health community’s engagement in climate change, and highlights health impacts related to fossil fuels.

Dr Anibal Velasquez, Peru’s Health Minister, who gave the opening address at the Summit, recognised the role of health advocates in shaping position. He said that it was medical students who made him realize the extent to which climate change represented a health emergency. He said that his Ministry would act accordingly, according to a report in an IFMSA blog.

Communications at COP20

Communications are strongly supported by the Global Coalition on Climate Action (GCCA), which is actively promoting the health perspective. A pre-Lima Tree Alert featured the health professional perspective on IPPC report. It includes a quote on HEAL’s position by Julia Huscher available here.

Throughout COP20, the HEAL Secretariat in Brussels will be in contact with the delegation and will be sharing information, including via social media, relevant articles and blogs, and retweeting.

Last updated on 9 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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