Health, Climate and Small Island States – Editorial by UNFCCC and WHO

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), have reconfirmed their commitment to a special initiative which they launched in partnerships with the Fijian Presidency at the COP 23 in Bonn last November.


In a joint editorial published yesterday, Espinosa and Dr. Ghebreyesus acknowledge that “sadly, those who contribute least to the causes of climate change bear the most severe brunt of its impact. People living on small islands are on the frontline of the impacts of climate change. (…) Our vision is that, by 2030, all health systems in small island states will be able to withstand climate change and all countries will have substantially reduced carbon emissions.”


In an aim to protect people living in small island developing states from the health impacts of climate change, the initiative has four main goals to be achieved by 2030:


1)      to support health leaders in small island developing states in drawing greater attention to the threats these nations face.

2)      to gather evidence to build the business case for investments that combat the health effects of climate change.

3)      to prepare for climate risks through preparedness and prevention policies and to build climate-proof health systems.

4)      to triple the current financial support for climate and health in small island developing states.



Read the full editorial here:

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