WHO says health must be front and center in the COP27 climate change negotiations

Nov. 7, 2022
Statement from the WHO.

The World Health Organization issued a reminder that the climate crisis continues to make people sick and jeopardizes lives and that health must be at the core of these critical negotiations.

COP27 will be an opportunity for the world to come together and re-commit to keeping the 1.5 °C Paris Agreement goal alive.

WHO welcomes journalists and COP27 participants to join them at a series of high-level events and spend time in an innovative health pavilion space. Their focus will be placing the health threat from the climate crisis and the huge health gains that would come from stronger climate action at the center of discussions. Climate change is already affecting people’s health and will continue to do so at an accelerating rate unless urgent action is taken.

Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress.

The direct damage costs to health (i.e., excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between US$ 2–4 billion per year by 2030.

The rise in global temperature that has already occurred is leading to extreme weather events that bring intense heatwaves and droughts, devastating floods and increasingly powerful hurricanes and tropical storms. The combination of these factors means the impact on human health is increasing and is likely to accelerate.

WHO release