Climate Change is Above All a Question of Public Health

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – WMA, CNOM and IFMSA continue to reiterate the essential role of physicians at the frontline of climate related health challenges at the Second Global Conference on Health & Climate: Building Healthier Societies through Implementation of the Paris Agreement, 7th-8th July 2016 in Paris.

During the Paris Conference (COP21) in December 2015, health emerged at the centre of the climate change debate. We expect that the next Conference of the Parties in Marrakech, Morocco (COP22) will emphasize the key role of physicians in addressing climate change. We appreciate the continued commitment of the WHO and the French Government to ensure health is high on the climate change agenda.

Physicians have the ethical responsibility to alert and advise decision-makers at local and national level, on the social determinants of health including climate change and identify the best solutions to prevent and address these challenges. said Sir Michael Marmot, President of the World Medical Association.

Physicians play an important role in all aspects of climate action and urge action by governments including:

  • climate mitigation, recognizing the crucial health co-benefits;
  • adaptation to health impacts of climate change including investment in health systems strengthening;
  • development of a loss and damage framework to address disparate health inequities attributable to climate change;
  • health sector engagement in implementation and review of national level commitments.

The WMA, the CNOM and the IFMSA welcome the recommendation of the Health Action Agenda delivered at the closing of the conference to the Moroccan Government, as the incoming Presidency of COP22, to develop the capacity of the health workforce to address climate risks; to coordinate a multi-sectoral approach and provide technical assistance to national governments; to ensure adequate financing for health systems strengthening.

We believe health professionals, medical students and the youth must come together to address the challenges posed by climate change on our health and must be given opportunities and resource to learn about and act upon climate change. Karim Abu Zied – IFMSA President

Our organizations remain committed to training the health workforce on Climate Change issues, by the development of tools such as the ?IFMSA Training Manual on Climate and Health, the development of resources such as the French Medical Council Webzine video on Health & Climate, research on Climate Change policy such as through the INDC analysis conducted by the WMA, and regular workshops on Climate Change and Health during statutory meetings.

Climate change is above all a question of public health. Doctors are in the front-line in responding to the harm from climate turmoil. We have a privileged position and a moral duty to protect and promote the populations health – Dr. Patrick Bouet – French Medical Council President

The World Medical Association (WMA) is the global federation of National Medical Associations representing millions of physicians worldwide. Acting on behalf of patients and physicians, the WMA endeavours to achieve the highest possible standards of medical care, ethics, education and health-related human rights for all people.

The French Medical Council (CNOM) is a private body entrusted with a public service mission representing all doctors. At the service of doctors in the interest of patients: this is the commitment of the Medical Council in its everyday activities, and in conjunction with all the health system actors. The French Medical Council compulsorily brings together all doctors entitled to practice, it ensures compliance with ethical and competence standards. It carries out its duties through Departmental and Regional Councils and the National one.

The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) envisions a world in which medical students unite for global health and are equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to take on health leadership roles locally and globally. Founded in 1951, it is one of the worlds oldest and largest student-run organizations. It represents, connects and engages every day with an inspiring and engaging network of 1.3 million medical students from 127 national member organizations in 119 countries around the globe.



Mustafa Ozan Alpay

IFMSA Vice-President for Public Relations and Communication

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: +90 546 269 0935

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