Health Systems Global at COP28 in Dubai

For the first time, Health Systems Global, through the Thematic Working Group on Climate-Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems, actively participated in the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held on November 30 - December 12, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE

Health Systems Global at COP28 in Dubai

Since the launch of the Thematic Working Group on Climate Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change HSG members have participated in UN climate COPs. At COP28 in Dubai (November 30th-December 12th 2023) the HSG, through our TWG, co-hosted an event for the first time. Members and Chairs were involved in a wide variety of events.

Below is a summary of key outcomes and events we participated in.

Major COP28 outcomes relevant to HSG

  • After grueling negotiations, COP28 ended with the approval by countries of the UAE Consensus, which some described as the beginning of the end of fossil fuels and some criticized for its weak and vague language, calling for “transitioning away” rather than “complete phase-out” of fossil fuels.
  • COP28 also has other key outcomes, including agreement and plans for the operationalization of the global Loss and Damage Fund that will provide financial assistance to vulnerable nations suffering from climate change impacts.
  • More than 40 million health professionals from around the globe joined the call to action by the World Health Organization (WHO) and civil society organizations, to prioritize health in climate negotiations at COP28.

COP29 will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan on November 11-22, 2024 – the second half overlaps with HSR 2024 in Nagasaki. Our TWG will try to be present in both COP29 and HSR 2024.

HSG’s presence at COP28 

  • “Voices from the ground: building climate resilient health systems through locally-led action” co-presented by Health Systems Global at the Resilience Hub
    • HSG participation: Amanda Quintana (TWG member) as a moderator and Carol Zavaleta (TWG Vice-Chair, Latin America) as a panelist 
    • Organized by Abt Associates, South South North, Health Systems Global, WaterAid Bangladesh
    • This event focused on the critical role of community-level activities in strengthening health systems, locally-led adaptation, and ultimately building climate resilience exemplified through the experiences shared by the panel speakers. Recommendations to embed community-led actions and principles in building climate-resilient health systems were discussed, and its implications for governance, national policies, and planning strategies.
    • The recording of the event can be viewed here: 02 December | 1030-1130 | Voices from the Ground: Building climate-resilient health
  • “A Climate-Smarter Health System” co-presented by Health Systems Global at the Philippine Pavilion
    • HSG participation: Renzo Guinto (TWG Chair) as a moderator
    • Organized by the Philippine Department of Health and co-presented by the World Health Organization, Harvard Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, Health Care Without Harm, and the Planetary and Global Health Program of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine
    • The panel explored the challenges and opportunities in building ‘climate-smart’ health systems, which are both environment-friendly as well as adaptive to climate impacts. During the panel, the Philippine Secretary of Health announced that the Philippines is joining WHO’s Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate Change and Health (ATACH), which will support countries in establishing climate-resilient and low-carbon national health systems.
    • The recording of the event can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/DENROfficial/videos/727783172180854.
  • “Birth in a Burning World: Action for Maternal and Newborn Health and Justice” at the Resilience Hub
    • HSG participation: Sari Kovats (TWG Vice-Chair, Europe) as one of the organisers
    • Organized by Human Rights Watch and Clinton Health Access Initiative 
    • Extreme heat causes risks to maternal and child health. Women who are marginalised and lack good maternal care, are also those women who are more likely to be exposed to high temperatures.  There is a need for action and responsible, equitable financing. 
    • There is a need for improved measurement (indicators) for tracking and showing progress at COPs and in national adaptation plans. There is sufficient evidence already to implement and scale up what works, sharing evidence and best practices 
    • The recording of the event can be viewed here: 05 Dec | 1200-1300 | Birth in a Burning World: Action for maternal and newborn health & justice
  • “Plugging the Healthcare Workforce Bra
    in Drain for Climate Adaptation”
    at the Monash Pavilion

    • HSG participation: Renzo Guinto (TWG Chair) as a panelist
    • Organized by Monash University and co-presented by Doctors for the Environment, the Planetary and Global Health Program of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine, and Washington University in St. Louis
    • The panel explored how climate change will exacerbate health workforce shortages worldwide and highlighted the need for a new approach to the management of health human resources, including training and migration.
  • “Catalysing aligned, inclusive, and co-beneficial action for climate change and mental health” at a side event in the Blue Zone
    • HSG participation: Renzo Guinto (TWG Chair) as panelist
    • Organized by Climate Cares Centre, Imperial College London and co-presented by numerous organizations including the Planetary and Global Health Program of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine
    • The event explored the emerging nexus of climate change and mental health and showcased the early accomplishments of a new project entitled “Connecting Climate Minds” led by Imperial College London and funded by Wellcome.

 

 

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