The climate negotiations in Paris were a wonderful way to jumpstart climate solutions. But they were only just that: a start. Now, those of us who care about alleviating the impact of climate change on public health must translate our ideas into action.
"Solving" climate change won't happen with a few table-top discussions. But new-to-the-topic organizations don't need to recreate the wheel. Climate for Health's partners include many groups who have been working on these issues for years. Take, for example, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH). HCWH is an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups. They have been leading the movement for environmentally responsible healthcare for two decades and have a plethora of resources to implement environmentally sound and healthy alternatives to health care practices that are otherwise detrimental to human health.
As World Bank Group Senior Director for Climate Change, John Roome, states in his article below,
"We will not be acting alone - our efforts will be aligned with our partners, with the private sector, and with governments. The climate challenge we face is daunting, but it is not insurmountable if we work together. It is time for everyone to play their part so when world leaders sign the Paris deal in April, those signatures mean far more than just letters on paper."
Let's ensure that the health sector is playing our part.
By John Roome I March 8, 2016
It has been nearly three months since 195 nations reached a historic agreement at COP21 in Paris to combat climate change and set the world on a path to a low carbon and more resilient future.
And in a little over a month, heads of state and governments will gather in New York to sign the Paris Agreement. Countries will then have one year to ratify the agreement, which will enter into force after it is ratified by at least 55 countries, representing at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
As we approach the signing of the agreement, it's time for countries and companies to seize the momentum from Paris and move from celebration of a landmark deal to action.
So what needs to happen?
As the Paris Agreement recognized, climate change represents an imminent, mounting threat to people and the planet. In the face of that, the world needs to step up protection for people - boosting their resilience to the impacts of climate change now and in the future.
Quite simply that means integrating climate considerations into all development. It means ensuring when a road or irrigation system is built, it's designed to withstand the vagaries of extreme weather. It means building up coastal protection, delivering on the promise of early warning systems and climate resistant crops for farmers.
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