Europe, World Must Address Environmental Risks To Health To Achieve SDGs

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Sustainable Development Goals for environment and health are within Europe’s reach, but we need to act better
Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe

“The time has come for Europe and the world to tackle the 21st century’s unavoidable challenge: to address the persistent, multiple effects of the environment on our health. … No country is absolved of its responsibility to safeguard, together with others, the only planet that we have and save it for the future generations from climate change and from exceeding planetary boundaries. … Tackling environmental risks to health to meet the new goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will require unprecedented collaboration, alignment, and effort across all governmental levels and sectors. Countries have to strategically streamline beneficial environment and health policies across their SDG priorities. … To meet the new global targets, Europe’s leaders will need to emphasize environmental interventions with a human health focus. … We must continue to set an example in the advancement towards global goals, minimizing harm to citizens and the environment no matter where it occurs and acting as a catalyst for change by taking action at home” (6/12).