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Addressing climate change and health in the Europe and Central Asia region: a joint value proposition and service offering

Addressing climate change and health in the Europe and Central Asia region: a joint value proposition and service offering

A joint initiative on climate change and health for the ECA region

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to human health worldwide, and the risks are on the rise. It threatens the essential ingredients of good health—clean air, safe drinking-water, nutritious food supply, and safe shelter—and has the potential to undermine decades of progress in health, globally, regionally, nationally and locally.

Climate change, in interaction with environmental change, has already created conditions more favorable for the emergence and spread of certain infectious diseases. Almost all recent pandemics originate from wildlife, and evidence suggests that increasing human pressure on the natural environment drives disease emergence. The current COVID-19 health crisis has taught us many lessons but is also giving an opportunity to rethink how we can work together to address more effectively a global crisis. When faced with public health threats of a global scale, such as COVID-19 or climate change, we are only as strong as our weakest health system.

The health sector has a double role to play. On the one side, it needs to adapt and become resilient to climate change. On the other side, it needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations, contributing to mitigation efforts. Delaying action on both adaptation and mitigation in the health and other sectors increases the human and economic costs associated with climate change and undermines progress on the sustainable development targets across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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