NEWS IN BRIEF
- The third edition of the “Healthy NDCs Scorecard” features 94 NDCs, representing a total of 120 countries (including the EU27 joint NDC submission). Three middle income countries, Cambodia, Moldova and Cabo Verde, rank as joint leaders for their consideration of health across five categories, with scores of 14 out of 15. Myanmar joins Costa Rica with 13 points. At the other end of the scale, Ukraine, and Sao Tome and Principe, join Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Brazil and others with a score of zero. The EU, representing 27 member states, registers just one point, while the US scores six, and the UK seven out of a possible fifteen.
-South Africa raised its NDC score from 7/15 to 12/15 for inclusion of health, and set greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets that are nearly 1.5C compatible, if they fulfill the most ambitious end of their proposed range. The development follows the submission made by the Public Health Association of South Africa, the South African Medical Association, and pan-African group Amref Health Africa during the public comment period for the draft national NDC, recommending ways in which health and equity could be incorporated into the NDC, also calling for South Africa to set strong GHG emissions commitments.
-Over 50 health organizations, collectively representing over 11,500 hospitals and health centers, have joined the Race to Zero ahead of COP26. The healthcare system initiative is led by Health Care Without Harm, a GCHA founding member. By participating in this UNFCCC-backed campaign, these organizations are committing to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and are now part of the largest ever alliance outside of national governments committed to delivering a zero carbon world in line with the Paris Agreement.
-Seven Aotearoa (New Zealand) health professional organizations, including GCHA member OraTaiao, have written a joint letter to Prime Minister Ardern and the Climate Change Minister, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26. They called for a significant increase in Aotearoa’s international climate contribution, asking to keep the capacity to limit global warming within a humanly adaptable 1.5 degrees.
-A new article published in health journals, co-authored by GCHA’s Jeni Miller, Edward Maibach, MonaSarfaty and others, finds that a majority of surveyed health professionals are “alarmed” about climate change. It provides insights on how health professionals can play a role and advocate for climate and health solutions.
-Four briefings developed by Health and Climate Network (HCN) look at the evidence on how current food, energy, transport and health systems are contributing to the climate crisis and impacting peoples’ health, and at how they can also be part of the solution. The briefs spell out specific policy solutions to address climate and health in each of these areas.
-In a special article published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, leading obstetricians and gynaecologists (OBGYNs) from FIGO (the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) highlighted the impact of the climate crisis on human reproduction and the fundamental risks it poses to the very continuation of our species.
-Thirty passionate paediatric healthcare providers are taking part in the “Ride for their Lives”, leaving London on bicycles heading for COP26 in Glasgow, where they expect to arrive by 31st October. WHO’s Head of Climate, Dr Diarmid Campbel-Lendrum had already cycled 850km from Geneva to London, carrying the letter, which he handed over to the riders.
In Glasgow the team will announce the numbers of kilometres completed by Ride for their Lives participants around the world (see map below) - who could dedicate the cycled kms in October to support the Ride - and hand over a suite of documents from the global healthcare community that outline the need for urgent action on air pollution and the wider climate crisis. This includes the Healthy Climate Prescription letter, which all health professionals are encouraged to sign. Chilean doctors from the Medical College of Chile joined the ride with a lot of enthusiasm from the desert of Atacama North, to Patagonia in the South. They organized family bike rides and were met by regional governors who received the climate prescription letter along with other environmental health demands by the health professionals.