For the better part of a decade, researchers working at the intersection of climate change and human health have been desperately sounding alarm bells about the significant public health threats lurking in every tenth of a degree of planetary warming. Billions of people are at risk from illnesses linked to extreme heat; malnutrition following crop failure; bacteria and viruses that lurk in mosquitoes, ticks, and water; and other climate-driven threats.
Yet health has never been on the official agenda at the annual United Nations climate change conference, where leaders representing countries around the globe gather to negotiate climate policy. That changed at this year’s Conference of the Parties, or COP28, which is currently taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sunday was the first ever COP “Health Day,” designed to bring together health and environment ministers from dozens of countries to discuss the health effects of climate change and brainstorm potential solutions.
“For too long, health has been a footnote in climate discussions,” Tedros Adhano... Read more