THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON HEALTH _Public policies and international context
Experts discuss the effects of climate change on human health, accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
IT IS NOT THE PLANET THAT IS IN DANGER BUT HUMANITY
On its first edition of the 2021 cycle of seminars Sustainable Future Dialogues, the topic - consequences of climate change to human health was introduced. These seminars are brought to the public thanks to a collaboration between iCS – Instituto Clima e Sociedade and the German Embassy. The Dialogues updated emergency topics in the climate-health connection in a global context and included proposals for local actions shedding some light on the decisions that need to be made now, so that we can guarantee a healthy life for all of us humans and also for the environment on its broadest sense.
Marina Marçal, coordinator of Portfólio de Política Climática for iCS was the moderator, and the panel The impacts of climate change on health – Public Policies and the international arena brought together Andreia Banhe, senior manager for Cities, States and Regions for CDP: Latin America; Christovam Barcellos, coordinator of Fiocruz Observatório de Clima e Saúde and deputy director of Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica (Icict); plus Laura Jung, a German national working for Global Climate and Health Alliance and member of the German Alliance on Climate Change and Health (KLUG) board. Ana Toni, iCS executive director and Friederike Sabiel, environmental affairs advisor for the German Embassy in Brazil were responsible for opening the event.
During the event, CDP had the opportunity to promote the report Mudança do clima e saúde urbana – Impactos e oportunidades para as cidades brasileiras (Climate change and urban health – Impacts and opportunities for Brazilian cities), which brought unprecedented information about the impact of climate change on urban health covering a universe of 92 Brazilian municipalities and a total of 55 million inhabitants. The study shows distressing statistical results and highlights opportunities for actions of positive impacts both for the environment and for public health.
In the sequence, Christovam Barcellos had the opportunity to introduce an also unprecedented research carried out by Fiocruz in collaboration with WWF and he highlighted that a dialogue among the three parties – the scientific/academic community, the politicians, and civil society is of paramount importance. “We must accept that there are processes affecting the health of the population”, he said. This study brings a caveat about the geographical expansion of droughts in the country and the possibilities of droughts reaching the Southeast Region, too. “The news in Brazil is not good. Research organizations and environmental control agencies are decreasing their activities. A consensus must be reached and research investments should be a priority. The positive aspect, though, is that the credibility on science is increasing thanks to Covid-19 pandemic.
Germany´s government that is turning the country Carbon Neutral by 2045 after warnings from the constitutional court, announced last May some even more ambitious climate goals that include emissions reduction of up to 65% by 2030. The event comes to an end with Ana Toni´s conclusion highlighting the fact that “it is not the planet that is in danger but humanity” and that some actions are extremely necessary: to foster science and education, to foster cooperation not only among countries but also among different groups in society, and that we must value solidarity.
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