The COP27’s side event showcased some of the challenges and opportunities in financing the commitments to build climate-resilient and low-carbon health and included some updates on the progress of the initiative.
On November 9, the High-level side event "Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH)" at COP27 showcased the experience of countries that have already committed to building climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems. During the session, other Member States and non-state actors, were invited to join the Alliance.
“We know that very few countries are funding their adaptation plans and mitigation strategies that are focused on health. That's why this event is important. We need to break down barriers to financing. Lives depend on it”, said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, during the opening.
Some key facts were revealed with a special focus on financing climate-resilient, low-carbon health systems:
- 62 countries committed to building climate-resilient & low-carbon health systems
- 20 countries have also set a date to reach net-zero carbon emissions from their health systems before 2050
- 50% of NDCs mention health and the impacts of climate change on health — but globally, health funding is almost non-existent
- Mayor founders are foundations
- The U.S Department of Health and Human Services will make an announcement regarding progress and leadership at the nexus of climate and health, including via partnerships underway domestically and internationally during the session Strong medicine: U.S. Progress in Enhancing Health System Sustainability and Resilience at Home and Abroad event.
“The Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health is going to be a great platform because it combines not only the working group working that's coming up on finance but also the working group on low carbon, sustainable and climate resilient health systems, and on the green supply chain to informs the needs of countries specially the low and middle-income ones”, explains Diana Picon Manyari, International Climate Director at Health Care Without Harm
The COP26 Health Programme was launched in November 2021 with the goal of enabling transformational change to protect the health of people and the planet. As of today, more than 60 countries have committed at the Ministry of Health level to this initiative, which was launched by the UK government as the Presidency of COP26, the World Health Organization (WHO), Health Care Without Harm, and the UNFCCC Climate Champions.
The Alliance on Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH) builds on the COP26 Health Programme and supports participating countries through their journey towards climate-resilient and low-carbon sustainable health systems. The Alliance is a WHO-led mechanism that will provide a platform for coordination, knowledge and best practice exchange, networking, access to support and linking up to existing initiatives, among others.