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FPH statement on the Leaders Summit on Climate: Health and equity must be at the heart of the UK’s climate policy

As the UK joins leaders around the world this week at the Leaders Summit on Climate, the Faculty of Public Health calls on government to ensure that health and equity are at the heart of the UK’s climate policy.

While the UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement makes some reference to the health implications of climate change, we are disappointed that health and equity are not strongly featured in these plans.

It is important that planetary and human health are understood as interlinked, with climate change impacting on a range of health outcomes, and measures to protect planetary health often co-benefiting human health.

President of the Faculty of Public Health Professor Maggie Rae said “As the world continues to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, international leaders must seize the opportunity to commit to ambitious emissions reductions targets, aligned with the Paris Agreement, and place health and equity at the heart of climate policy.

The FPH is committed to tackling this global public health threat, declaring a climate emergency in November 2019 and establishing the Climate and Health Committee which co-ordinates and leads the FPH’s response to this urgent issue.

We will continue to work with our members and partners in the UK and overseas to promote and protect human health and its wider determinants for everyone in society, leaving no one behind and ensuring the health of people and the planet are prioritised in these challenging times.”

The Climate Leaders’ Summit, held to mark Earth Day (22nd April), was hosted by the United States, which recently just re-entered the Paris Agreement. The Summit brought together governments from around the world to generate international momentum on ambitious climate action in the lead up to November’s UN climate negotiations (COP26) taking place in Glasgow from 1 - 12 November 2021.

Published 23 April 2021

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