Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Need For Political Action To Address Climate Change, Health

New York Times: Wake Up, World Leaders. The Alarm Is Deafening.
Editorial Board

“When a cautious, science-based, and largely apolitical group like the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world must utterly transform its energy systems in the next decade or risk ecological and social disaster, attention must be paid. … We’ve got a decade or so to get climate change under control, and there is no such thing as a gentle glide path. We have to take a firm grip on the emissions curve and wrench it downward. This will take enormous public and private investment and technological progress, even a breakthrough or two. … Perhaps the most important thing the public can do right now is seek out and support candidates who take this threat seriously…” (10/9).

Global Health NOW: Climate and Health: The Heart of the Health Policy Nexus
Renzo Guinto, physician, doctor of public health candidate at Harvard, Aspen New Voices fellow, and member of the The Lancet Planetary Health editorial advisory board

“…[W]hy is climate and health at the center of the nexus of [universal health coverage (UHC)], health security, and health promotion? First, UHC must be recognized as a climate adaptation strategy for the health sector, because strong health systems that are accessible to all provide a good baseline for preparedness to known and unknown climate-related health impacts. … Turning to health security, consensus is growing that climate change is creating the environmental conditions for the emergence of new infections and the re-emergence of old ones. … Finally, protecting the climate is health promotion on a planetary scale. … [G]lobal health today is deeply fragmented, and … integration is urgently needed in order to maximize health. … Ignoring this inescapable backdrop [of climate change] may lead to missed opportunities from the potentially promising synergy of [UHC, health security, health promotion, and climate and health]. That would amount to a huge loss for health improvement worldwide” (10/9).

Newsweek: Climate Change is a Global Health Catastrophe | Opinion
Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile and member of The Elders

“…Meeting [the] challenge [of climate change] will require the political will to commit substantial financial investment to climate-resilient health infrastructure. It means embedding climate change mitigation, reaction, and adaptation into long-term health planning, and ensuring environmental and economic policy are centered around health needs. … The health profession and the health care system must be at the forefront of this fight. The public health community must … put climate at the forefront of its own agenda. … Our health: as a community, and as individuals; both mental, and physical — these are the frontline battlefields of humanity’s struggle with climate change. It is a fight that no one can sit out, and it is a fight that will be won or lost by those responsible for our health, just as much as by those responsible for our environment and our economy” (10/9).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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