The day started with the usual YOUNGO meeting, and afterwards some action.
A UKYCC, Young Friends of The Earth and Bund Jugend joint project: Push Europe (http://pusheurope.eu/), have planned an action, where all youth participated including the IFMSA.
We all lined up in front of the European meeting with a CV, and asked for green jobs and a greener economy. The campaign is really big and aims toward a EU meeting in October, where the EU may discuss to target to 30% of reduction instead of the original 20%. To support the campaign please go to their webpage, and fill out, what kind of community you would like to live in.
The YOUNGO as a constituency is able to intervene in both opening and closing plenary in both tracks. The youth will intervene on forests in SBSTA and on various topics in SBI. Leo and I have helped drafting the closing intervention on article 6 and further more an intervention on health adaptation on National action Plans, which will be read out by Leo. One of our main points here is to raise awareness on health and speak the voice of future generations. It is evident that our health will be affected by climate change, and therefore we need adaptation programs, addressing the vulnerable at the national and regional levels.
After finishing drafting our intervention and having it successfully submitted just in time we attended a side event by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and nuclear Safety and the WHO regional office for Europe; Health as a priority in a changing climate – impacts and responses.
The side event was absolutely amazing and informative on health adaptation programs in 7 countries funded by the German Federal Ministry and the topic was very relevant, as yesterday it came out from the World Bank that the health care costs from impacts of climate change will be in the range of between 2 and 5 billion USD. Currently there is very little funding available and the need is tremendous, so we are happy this issue is being touched.
The introduction was given by the WHO Regional Office for the Europe, and they made some very interesting point on the importance of climate and health having more attention in this process. It is emphasized that we need to see this issue from a personal perspective and ask us self the question, how climate change will impact on various levels from water scarcity to housing.
Afterwards the floor was given to Alexander Nies, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), who spoke about the collaboration and the 7 adaptation projects in south east Europe and Asia, funded by Emission Trading, with a availability of 120 million per year and the importance of early adaptation.
The floor was then given to a representative from each of the countries, talking briefly about their projects ranging from early warning system, clean water implementation, environmental friendly hospitals with a supply from solar energy. One of the key focus in each project is capacity building, training and public awareness, which stand complexly in line with our knowledge drawn from article 6.
Afterwards the microphone was opened for questions. Leo put in a question which was applauded by the Chair: “In the World Health Assembly a few weeks ago, a resolution about intersectoral dialogue passed to strengthen the communication between various governmental agencies to fulfill the basic need of the population in terms of health. However, the health sector seems to suffer from the difficulty to talk into other sectors to put health on the agenda for the action program against climate change. I wonder if there is any successful story or experience among the panelist that can be shared?” The Minister of Health from Macedonia and Albania both answered that they have taken up the opportunity of a climate change related disaster (such as heat wave, flood, drought or etc.) occurrence to emphasize the importance of climate change and health with the other departments. Awareness of the general public as well as the media were also drawn to a larger scale due to the catastrophe. It seems that we still need some lessons to learn before we can actually take serious action.