Abu Dhabi: The inaugural event of the Forecasting Healthy Futures (FHF) Global Summit has brought together world leaders in climate, health, and technology to catalyse ideas and solutions to mitigate the impact of global warming on human health.
The summit, co-hosted by Reaching the Last Mile, was aimed at moving the global health community towards new partnerships and substantial financing in support of climate-adaptive health strategies ahead of COP28 in Dubai.
The summit featured a keynote speech by Mr. Majid Al-Suwaidi, Director-General of COP28, in addition to a virtual address by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Mr. Al Suwaidi warned that climate change threatens to undo the gains made in global health in recent decades and emphasised the need for renewed commitments, collaboration, and financing to strengthen health systems and ensure vulnerable communities are protected against climate shocks.
The Director-General commented that “the COP28 UAE Presidency will work to ensure that together we urgently accelerate action to get the world back on track by 2030. The challenges we face are enormous. To meet our targets, we must cut emissions by 43 percent in less than seven years in order to drive healthcare system strengthening, adaptation, prevention, relief, and recovery for affected populations.”
“We must work together to ensure that this is a COP of solidarity, which bridges the global north and south and brings in all stakeholders, including the private sector, scientists, civil society, Indigenous peoples, women, and youth, leaving no-one behind. Through an inclusive approach, we hope COP28 can find solutions and outcomes across healthcare, mitigation, adaptation, loss, and damage,” Mr. Al Suwaidi added.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus underscored the need for new spending and partnerships in support of climate adaptation strategies in global health.
“The climate crisis is a health crisis. Extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, land degradation, and food and water scarcity have a profound impact on the health of millions of people. We must embrace strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change, such as using innovative technologies, investing in climate-resilient health systems, and having a well-trained and decently paid health workforce,” Mr. Ghebreyesus remarked.