As we head toward the United Nation's Climate Talks in Paris, many wonder how many of the world's governments are even paying attention. Like a class of students working collaboratively on a given project, some are going to take the lead and others will, well, slack off. A new report by the Federation of Public Health Associations, which received responses from 35 countries, reveals that 77% of these countries have not comprehensively identified the health risks that their citizens will face as climate change worsens. Clearly, these countries aren't going to be ready to respond to the consequences of climate destruction - be they geographic, physical or psychological - if they haven't prepared for them. First, governments need to identify health risks, then they need to form an appropriate action plan. Health professionals can do our part by beginning to communicate about the health risks of climate. ecoAmerica has conducted research on this topic and has some valuable resources to offer, included Communicating on Climate: 13 Steps and Guiding Principles. On the global scale, before we can ensure that health professionals are responding to the world's patients, we must address the gaps in climate knowledge.
Blue & Green Tomorrow I November 12th, 2015
A new report by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) reveals many countries are lagging in policies to protect their populations from the adverse health impacts of climate change.
Respondents from 35 countries completed the global survey, which revealed more than half of respondent countries (51%) had no national plan to adequately protect the health of their citizens from climate change.
WFPHA President Mengistu Asnake said: “The health impacts of climate change is one of the most significant public health risks facing the global community. While there are some encouraging signs, this benchmark survey reveals many gaps in policy at the national level to respond. We encourage all national governments to develop national climate and health plans to ensure their citizens are not unprotected from the major health risks from climate change.”
The WFPHA survey found both developed and developing nations lacked comprehensive national climate change action plans, however vulnerable developing nations appear to be less prepared, with 70% of respondent countries reporting that either their national climate policies did not address health or there was no national climate action plan in existence.
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