COP28 Climate Conference to discuss impacts of climate change on health for the first time
This year, the UN Climate Change Conference, or COP28, will host the first-ever Health Day and climate-health ministerial. The purpose of the thematic day is to highlight how climate change affects people’s health and wellbeing as well as the resilience of health systems and societies and to point out that the climate crisis is also a health crisis.
As a result of climate change, there is a risk that the Sustainable Development Goals and universal health coverage will not be achieved by 2030. In addition, inequality within and between countries is growing at an alarming rate.
Climate change has significant negative impacts on, for example, the health and wellbeing of women and girls, young people and indigenous peoples who have a close relationship with nature. Globally, an estimated 3.6 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
State Secretary Laura Rissanen will represent Finland at the meetings of the COP28 Health Day on 3 December 2023.
“At the meetings, Finland will emphasise, among other things, the importance of strengthening the resilience of health systems, engaging in cross-administrative cooperation, paying attention to regional differences and addressing the impacts of climate change on gender equality in particular,” says Rissanen.
“At worst, climate change increases gender inequality. Particularly women and girls are affected by threats to health, safety and livelihood,” Rissanen adds.
The impacts of climate change are complex. Climate change has a direct and indirect impact on health and is strongly linked to environmental, social, economic and public health factors.
“It is important to identify the connections between the environment, the economy and health in view of sustainable development and to promote cross-administrative cooperation within the Government and in society as a whole,” says Rissanen.
The aim of the Declaration on Climate and Health, which is to be adopted in connection with COP28, is to make all countries more committed to responding to the threats that climate change poses to health and health systems, while taking account of present and future generations. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has signed the commitment.
Laura Rissanen, State Secretary (Riikka Mononen, Secretary, tel. +358 295 163 531)
Annika Launiala, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 053, [email protected]