The World Health Organisation director-general has praised the organisers of the Cop28 climate summit for giving a day over to discussing health issues.
The global summit opens on November 30 at Dubai’s Expo City, with December 1 and 2 allocated for world leaders to outline their plans for climate action.
The fourth day, December 3, will consider health issues in depth. It is the first Cop summit to feature discussions on the relationship between climate change and health. A second theme of the day will be relief, recovery and peace.
Writing on social media, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked the organisers for prominently including health on the agenda.
“The climate crisis is a health crisis. I very much appreciate the leadership of the UAE in dedicating one day of Cop28to health,” he said.
“Pleased to discuss how to make the most of it with Dr Maha Taysir Barakat, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Medical Affairs.”
He made the comment while at a G20 Joint Health-Finance Ministers Meeting in Gandhinagar, India, at which the WHO and the G20 India presidency announced a new Global Initiative on Digital Health.
Mohamed Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, and Dr Barakat led the UAE’s delegation to the meeting, which also discussed the progress made by the Joint Finance and Health Task Force this year.
Last month, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President-designate, said the summit will be based around four pillars – fast-tracking the energy transition, fixing the climate finance, focusing on people and making inclusivity a hallmark of the summit in Dubai.
It will see the world complete a first-ever “global stocktake” of progress in limiting climate change.
Dr Al Jaber called on countries to update emissions plans by September to ensure they were aligned with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C – a target he said was the “north star” of his plan for Cop28.