COP26: Global climate alliance charge leaders on 1.5C target to avoid disaster
The Global Climate and Health Alliance on Monday urged world leaders to make health and social equity the beating heart of COP26 negotiations. The body advised them to take concerted action to limit global heating to less than 1.5C in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and scientific community findings. COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. Jeni Miller, the Executive Director complained that people are dying and being harmed by climate change. Miller stressed that the decisions made in the next two weeks will define the health and wellbeing of people worldwide for decades to come. The official said heads of governments must prioritise health and social equity over politics, profit and unproven technological fixes. Deploring temperature rises of between 2.7 and 3.1 degrees celcius this century, the director appealed to COP26 delegations to get emissions in line with the 1.5C limit to prevent disaster. Miller reminded high income countries to deliver the promised annual $100billion climate finance to support lower income countries, including funds to help them protect people, health systems and climate mitigation measures. Governments must agree to phase out public funding and facilitating of fossil fuels, with high income countries - which bear the responsibility for the bulk of climate warming emissions to date - making the greatest cuts the fastest. Every government must commit to building climate resilient, low-carbon, sustainable health systems, while leveraging the unparalleled public funding being invested in COVID-19 recovery packages to support climate action, and reduce social and health inequities. "From cleaner air, to secure access to healthy foods, to safer streets and healthier more livable cities, the potential benefits to peoples health and wellbeing in countries that act on climate change are immense", Miller said. Formed in 2011, The Global Climate and Health Alliance comprises more than 500 organisations representing 46 million nurses and doctors. In October, the health professionals signed an open letter to the 197 government heads and national delegations ahead of COP26. They warned that the climate crisis is the single biggest health threat facing humanity and called on leaders to deliver on climate action.