Dr Sultan Al Jaber, who is set to lead COP28, says the event will pay close attention to the link between our planet’s health and our own. For the first time, a special “Health Day” will be held during the conference. This day aims to find ways to make health systems stronger, even as the climate changes.
Speaking at a big UN meeting, alongside leaders from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Malawi, Dr Al Jaber stressed how important it is to focus on both health and the environment. He said: “The way the climate affects our health is clear. We need to talk about it more.”
He added that the goal of the Health Day at COP28 is to find ways to make sure health systems can handle the challenges brought on by changes in the climate.
Dr Al Jaber thanked countries like Brazil, the UK, the USA, and many others for their leadership in talking about health and the climate.
He also mentioned some concerning facts. For instance, dirty air causes seven million people to die earlier than they should each year. Also, diseases that are spread by insects, like Malaria, are becoming more common because of changes in the weather.
COP28’s Health Day, which is on December 3, will also talk about how the recent Covid-19 pandemic showed that many countries’ health systems need to be stronger.
Money will be a big topic at Health Day. The costs of health problems due to changes in the climate could be as much as $4 billion every year by 2030. This could make more people poor, especially in areas that already have many challenges.
Dr Al Jaber said more money needs to be given to help countries in the southern part of the world. He believes that spending on health is a smart investment. The World Bank agrees, saying every dollar spent on making things safer against climate change can bring back four dollars in benefits.
Dr Al Jaber praised groups like the World Bank for promising to help close the money gap needed for health and climate safety.
Lastly, Dr Al Jaber talked about how the UAE has always cared about the health of its people. He mentioned the efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan and current President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in looking after people’s well-being.