SUMMARY OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) CONFERENCE ON HEALTH AND CLIMATE

The World Health Organization (WHO) Conference on Health and Climate took place at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland from 27-29 August 2014. It was attended by 360 participants, including health and environment ministers of WHO member states, senior civil servants, technical experts, UN agencies, NGOs, chief executives from health authorities and relevant private sector entities.

The meeting discussed: the state of climate science, particularly as it relates to health; the public health response to climate change; health resilience; health benefits and health promotion while mitigating climate change; and the economics of health and climate change. Throughout the conference, participants discussed linking climate, sustainable development and health policy.

The meeting produced a draft summary that recognizes both the need to strengthen health resilience to climate change and the opportunity to make gains in public health through well-planned mitigation measures. The document also recognizes policy gaps and next steps. A final outcome document, to be produced by the WHO Secretariat, is expected to deliver conclusions that will be used as input to the 2014 Climate Summit taking place in New York in September. The conclusions are also intended to serve as input to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21), the post-2015 development agenda discussions, and the 2nd Hyogo Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015. 

 

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