The World Health Organization said Monday that constructive action against climate change could save “millions” of lives.
Ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, scheduled for October 31, the WHO is urging governments to reach concrete agreements to combat climate change.
“Countries must set ambitious national climate commitments if they are to sustain a healthy and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the WHO said Monday in a statement announcing a new report on climate change and health.
Amid the pandemic, climate crises including droughts, heat waves, flooding and hurricanes have ravaged all parts of the world.
“Changes in weather and climate are threatening food security and driving up food-, water- and vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, while climate impacts are also negatively affecting mental health,” the WHO statement read.
The WHO report came on the same day that an open letter signed by more than 400 health bodies representing over 45 million health care professionals was released, calling for urgent action against climate change.
At this year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, participants will spend two weeks discussing the measures needed to avoid what some are calling an “unprecedented ecological crisis.”