As Global Warming Surpasses Limits of Human Survival, Non-Communicable Diseases Need to be on COP28 Agenda

Health Policy Watch | 29 Aug 2023

The 28th United Nations climate conference, scheduled to open on 30 November in Dubai, has pledged to elevate health issues, but non-communicable diseases – which are set to become dramatically worse as temperatures rise – are nowhere on the agenda. Prevention of climate– and heat-related diseases need to be on the formal Conference of Parties (COP) 28 negotiating agenda – not just on the sidelines.

Wildfires across Canada, Hawaii and Algeria, killer heat waves from Texas to India, China, southern Europe, and Morocco, and summer temperatures in the middle of the winter season in Argentina and Chile. The relentless, heat-related effects of climate change are more and more manifest – along with their human toll in terms of deaths and diseases from acute heat stroke to chronic kidney disease.   

As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said recently: “The era of global warming has ended. The era of global boiling has arrived. The air is unbreathable and the heat is unbearable. And the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable.” 

And the impacts on health are mounting faster and faster. 

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