Medicus Mundi International – Network Health for All

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
11.6 Health, environment and climate change

This is a statement by MMI, supported by PHM.
While we compliment the WHO and MS for addressing climate change and in particular air pollution over the last years, it is becoming clear that our response to address climate change is inadequate.
Everywhere we look our environment is collapsing. The IPCC report tells us we have barely 11 years to act, while the ISPBES warns that 1 million species are at risk of extinction. They present us with the same dire warning: act now or it will be too late.
Therefore, we urge all member states to make four bold commitments:
Our children demand: speak the truth! So, please, no longer use the term ‘change’ when describing the environment and climate but instead use a term that better describes what is actually happening. We propose the term environmental and climate ‘breakdown’ or ‘crisis’;
Bring climate breakdown out of the shadows. It is currently subsumed within category three - Promoting health through the lifecourse - and within Health and the Environment.
Ensure that this new category has its own budget line and is adequately funded: $108m is dedicated to Health and the Environment. This is clearly not enough. There is no separate funding stream for climate breakdown. Of the available $108m, just $36m of the total was spent by the end of 2018. Please ensure that all available funds are spent.
Finally, demonstrate leadership and mobilise political will by declaring climate breakdown a Public Health emergency of International Concern.
You have a stark choice to make: bold, urgent action now, today, or we will run out of time. It is up to you.