Let's address the crucial connection between climate change, health, says Al Jaber

COP28 will host the first-ever Health Day and climate-health ministerial at a COP, which will be co-hosted by the WHO and several countries


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Published: Tue 19 Sep 2023, 9:08 PM

Last updated: Wed 20 Sep 2023, 7:31 AM

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-Designate, has emphasised on the international community addressing the crucial connection between climate change and health.

Speaking against the backdrop of the UN General Assembly and Climate Week NYC, alongside Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, the President of Malawi, the COP28 President-Designate raised the importance of putting health at the centre of climate diplomacy and the need to mobilise investment for equitable, climate-resilient health systems during COP28.

"The connection between health and climate change is evident, yet it has not been a specific focus of the COP process — until now. This must change," Dr Al Jaber said.

Climate health is a key part of the COP28 Presidency's Action Agenda, under the pillar of focusing on lives and livelihoods. The COP28 will host the first-ever Health Day and climate-health ministerial at a COP, which will be co-hosted by the WHO and several countries.

Dr Al Jaber also met William Ruto,  President of Kenya, and Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, and a number of officials to discuss paths of reaching desired solutions during COP28.

The meetings took place as part of the COP28 Presidency's participation in the UN General Assembly and'Climate Week NYC' in New York. Accompanied by the wider COP28 Presidency team, including Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development and the Youth Climate Champion for COP28, Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion of the COP28 Presidency, and Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP28 Director-General, Dr Al Jaber showcased and discussed the COP28 Action Agenda with members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

During his remarks, Dr Al Jaber thanked the country champions, Brazil, the UK, the USA, the Netherlands, Kenya, Fiji, India, Egypt, Sierra Leone, and Germany for their work in leading the climate health discussions at COP28.

Adnan Amin, COP28 CEO, also addressed the event to emphasise the importance of health in the COP28 agenda in a fireside chat moderated by Dr Vanessa Kerry, WHO Special Envoy for Climate Change and Health.

Dr Al Jaber held further consultations and discussions with world leaders in New York designed to build momentum and agreement around the Presidency's Action Agenda. The four key pillars of the Action Agenda include fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on people, lives and livelihoods, and underpinning everything with full inclusivity.

The COP28 Director-General, Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, spoke at the MIT Solve Challenges finals on how to fund and scale up climate technologies. The event brought together global investors, philanthropists, and other leaders to reveal the most promising tech-based solutions to the climate crisis.

Al Suwaidi also addressed global CEOs as part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative on how the private sector can play a role in addressing climate change. The Initiative was launched by King Charles III in 2020 and convenes global leaders to drive a sustainable energy transition. In both events, Al Suwaidi raised the importance of private sector innovation, investment, and involvement at COP28 to deliver solutions across all climate pillars.

Razan Al Mubarak also attended events to highlight the importance of nature-positive solutions. Speaking at the Nature Positive Hub, Al Mubarak launched a high-level champion-led paper on mobilising private capital for nature to meet climate and nature goals which contains case studies and recommendations on the delivery of private sector capital to deliver nature-based solutions.

The visit to New York coincides with Climate Week NYC and the UN General Assembly where world leaders are convening to progress collective action on humanity's greatest shared challenges, such as the climate crisis.


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