The World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday that constructive action on climate change could save “millions” of lives.
Ahead of the 2021 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, which is scheduled to take place on October 31, WHO is urging governments around the world to reach a concrete agreement to combat climate change.
“Countries must set ambitious national climate commitments if they are to sustain a healthy and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the WHO said in a statement announcing a new report on climate change and health.
In the midst of a pandemic, climate crises including droughts, heat waves, floods and hurricanes have hit all parts of the world. “Climate and weather change threatens food security and increases food, water and vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, while climate impacts also negatively affect mental health,” the WHO statement said.
The WHO report was announced on the same day that an open letter signed by more than 400 health agencies representing more than 45 million health care professionals was released, calling for urgent action against climate change.
At this year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, participants will discuss the steps needed to avoid what some have called an “unprecedented ecological crisis.” The summit itself will last for two weeks. (lt/ka)