Climate change and human health

The COP Presidency’s High-Level Event on Health: Health Actions for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement

12 November 2017, Bonn, Germany

The Paris Agreement, adopted on 12 December 2015, marked a proactive turning point in the global response to climate change. “The right to health”, acknowledged in the Paris Agreement, is central to the actions that are to be taken.

In order to monitor the progress been made by the health community and continue advocating for the importance of promoting and protecting health from climate change, a High-Level Event will take place at COP23 under the Fijian Presidency.

At this event special attention will be paid to the least developed countries and small island developing states, with discussions aiming to;

  • Showcase the ongoing initiatives of national governments and the wider health community, in implementing the health commitments of the Paris agreement and the health and climate agenda.
  • Assess the current state of progress, and identify ongoing barriers to stronger action to protect and promote health while addressing climate change.

Participants will include the newly elected WHO Director General, senior government negotiators and policymakers, members of the health and development sectors, environmental NGOs, technical experts, academics within the field of health and the environment, and intergovernmental agencies.

Climate change and its impact on health on small island developing states

Children play on the beach in Port Vila, Vanuatu
WHO/Y. Shimizu

The effects of climate change (including increased average temperatures, more frequent and severe extreme weather events and rising sea levels) will exacerbate this disease burden with an expected increase in illnesses and deaths, as well as threatening access to safe food supplies, clean water and sanitation.