WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas participated in the Second Global Conference on Health and Climate: “Building Healthier Societies through implementation of the Paris Agreement,” hosted by the World Health Organization and Government of France on July 7.
Implementation of the Paris Agreement will have a major public health policy impact as countries take action. It states that “the right to health”, will be central to the actions taken. This includes reductions in the more than 7 million deaths worldwide that are attributed to air pollution every year.
“The Paris Agreement is an excellent agreement but we have to implement it,” said Mr Taalas. He said the need for urgent action was underlined by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, record temperatures, melting Arctic sea ice and glaciers, unusual tropical cyclone activity and extreme weather like heatwaves and flooding.
“There is a clear need to change our behavior,” said Mr Taalas. “If we do not do anything on climate change we will see temperature increases of 8-9 degrees Celsius which would persist for thousands of years. That is not a planet I wish to leave to my children and grandchildren,” he said.
“We need to take concrete action and we can do this by forging partnerships. By working together we can reach more people than by reinventing the wheel.,” he said. “I see many opportunities for cooperating between the climate community and health community. I am a strong believer in these partnerships.”