A health approach to climate change

Changing Environment

(European Institute for Gender Equality, 2017)

The world has more than 1.9 million medical students from over 190 countries. If all us health professionals and future health professionals team up to battle climate change, it would bring about not only a great change in the policies of the world but also the cultural and social norms of communities.

We need to acknowledge climate change as the largest threat and opportunity to global health in the 21st century, and call for human health to be placed at the centre of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) international negotiations where it will stand as an effective framework from which to implement a fair and ambitious plan of action following the adoption of the Paris Agreement.

In this, we seek to preserve a society which promotes equity, avoids future conflicts and paves the road towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs). There exists universal political, scientific and public health consensus that climate change is both men-made and occurring at unprecedented rates, posing a very significant threat to the health of global populations.

Disturbances in climate stability will severely harm the health of humans, animals and the environment through an increase in extreme weather events, natural disasters, floods and resulting diarrheal disease, degradation of arable land, nutritional impacts, mass migration, and violent conflict. Climate change will also play a greater role in the spread of infectious diseases by widening the areas of spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever by creating more favorable conditions for climate sensitive disease vectors.

Changes to the climate resulting in water scarcity and decreased sanitation alone will have devastating effects on public health systems in affected areas. Furthermore, extreme drought linked to climate change is creating conditions that contributed to civil instability. Therefore, climate change mitigation and adaptation represent a non-regret necessity that takes the form of basic public requirements and efforts towards the SDGs: promotion of healthy lifestyles; use of sustainable clean energy sources; guarantee of food security, water and sanitation; clean air; early warning systems; vector control and disaster risk reduction.

As health professionals and Future health professionals, our duty of care will include not only future patients, but communities and public health at local, national and global levels. The impact of climate change on health is a threat that we will see in our future scope of practice if the right measurements of prevention are not taken. As a people, we need to acknowledge the significant co-benefits of health mitigation strategies such as: developments in areas of transport, agriculture, electricity generation and household energy use.

What is required is Immediate and sustainable mitigation and adaptation action be taken on a local, national and global level to safeguard global public health and preserve our accomplishments over infectious diseases and towards health care access.The future costs associated with climate change must be shared fairly between nations, taking into account equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR), in the light of different national circumstances. Health must be placed at the centre of any international negotiations on climate change for a global deal. The international health community must actively engage in the debate and negotiation progress taking place under the UNFCCC.

Health professionals as individuals and their representative organizations must take an external advocacy role in encouraging their local governments, health and other relevant ministers to act in a way that reduces national emissions adopting the health in all policies approach and prepare for the future consequences of climate change on health.

All governments and nations need to realize that there is a great need to invest time, effort and finances into mechanisms to achieve measurable carbon reduction, create jobs and contribute to a more sustainable world.

We must meet an emissions trajectory consistent with a 1.5 degree long term goal and create a society wide transition to a carbon free economy, through the divestment of fossil fuels and the immediate withdrawal of fossil subsidies, in order to accelerate the transition to sustainable societies that are beneficial to human health, through country-specific emissions reduction targets, which make steady steps for the agreed global objective to be reached and adapted according to each nation’s capacity.

The IFMSA, World Health Organization, medical students, medical practitioners, healthcare providers and organizations representing the interests of current and future health professionals to need to take the lead in educating the public on the likely effects of climate change on health, as well as directly lobbying key stakeholders including governments, to take action on the issue. There is a great need to integrate climate change and its threat to health within the curricula of medical schools worldwide and into capacity building programs targeting health professionals from a multidisciplinary approach and further continue the initiative of the WHO Country profiles on climate and health, in collaboration between NMOs, governments and WHO.

In conclusion, science and justice demands of the global community a reduction of carbon emissions to levels which ensure the survival of our planet’s ecosystem and the protection of human health. We as an individual and as a people need to fulfil that demand to keep ourselves, our family and friends, and our planet, healthy and happy.

About the author

Sheharyar Zameer is a second year medical student at Army Medical College in Pakistan and the National Public Health Officer at the International Federation of Medical Students Association, Pakistan. He is a co-ordinator at Together We Can Foundation and a member of the International Organization for Progressive Global Collaborations. He is also a member of the college research society AURF and dramatics society AEDS. His special interests include Public Health, Trauma Medicine and Surgery.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

It’s time to ‘eliminate the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence’, urges UN chief

Freshwater is saltier – and it’s bad for the planet and our health

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

Global hunger is on the rise. These simple steps could help eradicate it

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

Parliament pushes for cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030

At COP24, countries agree concrete way forward to bring the Paris climate deal to life

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

UN should be ‘exemplary’ in defending judicial independence, top Judge tells Security Council

Novartis and Johnson & Johnson to deprive Europeans of their right to Health

Europe to turn the Hamburg G20 Summit into a battlefield

1st Exclusive High Level Dialogue: China-EU Cybersecurity and 5G Cooperation

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

5G mobile is nearly here – but we should share networks to make it affordable

Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May at last week’s EU Council. Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte

EU leaders open “Phase Two” of Brexit talks and warn Theresa May of tougher times

UN welcomes ‘record’ Brussels conference pledge of nearly $7 billion to support Syrians

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

Is sub-Saharan Africa ready for the electric vehicle revolution?

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

Advanced economies still have plenty of work to do to reach Sustainable Development Goals

EU agrees on Ukraine – Georgia visa-free travel amid veto risks and populist fears

Why India can show us how to achieve growth with purpose

Breaking news: Juncker’s Commission mutant trojan horse is on the loose in Strasbourg

UN expresses concern following wave of street protests in Iraq and elsewhere

Heat-resistant crops, ‘green’ infrastructure, can prepare Near East and North Africa to better tackle droughts – UN agency

FIAT Chrysler: from Geneva Motor show to the World, and back

The EU threatens to occupy Libya militarily; is another colonial war brewing?

Three-quarters of South Sudanese children have known nothing but war, says UNICEF

Ahead of street protests, UN rights chief urges Guatemalan Government to respect democratic freedoms

UN report sheds light on ‘unimaginable horrors’ faced by migrants and refugees in Libya, and beyond

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

All talk but no action against fraudulent bankers

Poland: €676 million worth of EU investments in better rails and roads

United States: UN human rights office welcomes California moratorium on death penalty

TTIP’s 11th round starts in Miami but EU-US businesses see no sunny side

EU Copyright Directive: Google News threatens to leave Europe while media startups increasingly worry

China dazzles the world with her Silk Road plan to connect, Asia, Europe and Africa

The ECB again takes care of the bankers not the people

High-flyers: China is on top of the world for skyscraper construction

Remembering slave trade offers chance to raise awareness, ‘oppose all forms of modern slavery’ – UNESCO

A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

AI-driven companies need to be more diverse. Here’s why

Brexit: new European Parliament reaffirms wholehearted support for EU position

More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution

What’s going on in Chernobyl today?

Brexit: Only Corbyn and May in concert can make the needed compromises

Is your business model fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The cost of housing is tearing our society apart

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

The global issue of migration in 2017

Parliament names radio studio after journalists murdered in December attack

Greece did it again

World Food Day: here’s what the UN is doing to fix ‘intolerable’ wrong of hunger

Digital Single Market: Survey shows Europeans are well aware of rules against unjustified geo-blocking

Pakistan: UN Security Council condemns ‘heinous and cowardly’ terrorist attacks

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Виктор Родин says:

    “Mankind has three years left …” The shocking statement of the scientist about the end of the world leads to hysteria. Reto Knutti – Famous Swiss climatologist and professor of physics of Earth’s climate at the Institute of Atmospheric and Climatic Science, Zurich.
    Yes, indeed: “Mankind has three years left …” But no hysterics from this fact should be done.
    Warming is eliminated in 10 years by natural technologies, which it has already done at least twice:
    After the dinosaurs, who ate all the vegetation that they could get, polluted the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and methane, and raised the temperature.
    The same after mammoths.
    The cost of restoring the planet’s climate is one trillion dollars.
    The yield from the elimination of warming is 2.4 -2.7 trillion dollars.
    In 2018, the cost of recovery will be two trillion dollars.
    In 2019, the situation on elimination of warming will change to 50-on-50.
    In 2020, we can only take advantage of the advice of the scientist – to prepare for the end of the world.
    Sincerely, creator of environmental programs, environmental engineer, Victor Rodin.
    — — —
    «Человечеству осталось три года…» Шокирующее заявление ученого о конце света доводит до истерики. Рето Кнутти (Reto Knutti) — Известный Швейцарский климатолог и профессор физики климата Земли в Институте атмосферной и климатической науки, Цюрих.
    Да, действительно: «Человечеству осталось три года…» Но никаких истерик из этого факта делать не следует.
    Потепление устраняется за 10 лет природными технологиями, которые это делали уже как минимум дважды:
    После динозавров, которые съели всю растительность, которую могли достать, загрязнили атмосферу углекислым газом и метаном, и подняли температуру.
    То же после мамонтов.
    Стоимость восстановления климата планеты – один триллион долларов.
    Доходность от устранения потепления – 2,4 -2,7 триллиона долларов.
    В 2018 году стоимость восстановления будет два триллиона долларов.
    В 2019 ситуация по устранению потепления перейдёт в режим 50-на-50.
    В 2020 мы можем только воспользоваться советом учёного – подготовиться к концу света.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s