13 May 2024

Virtual Event: Health, the core response to climate overshoot

On 16 May 2024 (15:00 am CET), the Climate Overshoot Commission organizes a virtual event with high-level experts focused on "Health, the core response to climate overshoot". This event will discuss how public health dimensions must be at the core of the global climate responses and governance, and will discuss the latest development achieved at COP28 and how they require implementation at the local level, including through sustained funding and capacity-building in the most concerned and vulnerable populations. 

 

Context:

The risk of climate overshoot – that is, of exceeding the Paris Agreement goal of limiting average global warming to 1.5°C – is high and rising, and with it the risk of worsening impacts on human health, food security, water availability, social stability, and ecosystems. No country and no vulnerable community would be spared from such consequences. In different combinations, more frequent and more intense heat waves, droughts, wildfires, crop failures, storms, and disease are all affecting every region of the planet. They form an alarming pattern of increasing climate variability and extremes that will only worsen as the world continues to warm, posing rising threats to human health.


Overshoot trends would threaten global public health, increasing people’s exposure to infectious diseases, malnutrition, mental stress, and air pollution. The conditions for disease transmission would worsen. People in Central and South America and Africa would be at increased risk of epidemics including malaria, dengue, and other mosquito-borne diseases. People in North America and Europe would be at increased risk of Lyme disease. The global population at risk of undernutrition would increase, posing a threat especially to children and pregnant women in low-income countries, where food insecurity is prevalent and climate sensitive. More extreme weather events like wildfires, for instance, produce smoke and haze that can travel long distances and harm large populations. This Stalled development caused by exceeding 1.5°C warming would also undermine public health indirectly by compromising healthcare systems and eroding socioeconomic conditions necessary to public well-being. The global population at risk of mental distress would increase, affecting especially those who are directly or indirectly exposed to climate impacts such as extreme events, displacement, migration, and poverty.

 

Event objectives:

The objectives of this event on health at the heart of the response to address overshoot risks are three-fold:

  • To discuss the role of global health advocacy in addressing global warming, and the global priorities set ahead of COP29;
  • To review the most urgent systemic changes required in the climate governance architecture, and build a common understanding on the needed attention to its health dimensions;
  • To raise awareness on the devastating consequences of surpassing the 1.5°C Paris Agreement objective on communities and on achieving SDG 3.

 

With the participation of:

  • Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada, member of the Climate Overshoot Commission
  • Maria Neira, Director, Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants, WHO
  • Daouda Diouf, Head of Climate Action and Health Resilience, Fondation S
  • Dominique Legros, Health programme, Climate Action Accelerator
  • Moderator: Chandelle O’Neil, member of Youth Group of the Climate Overshoot Commission