The twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC will take place in November 2021 in Glasgow. As a humanitarian medical organization fighting for the human right to health for all, Médecins du Monde takes part in the COP26.

COP26: Statement on Climate Crisis and Health

The twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC will take place in November 2021 in Glasgow. As a humanitarian medical organization fighting for the human right to health for all, Médecins du Monde takes part in the COP26 because the climate crisis is also a health crisis.

Dear Heads of State and National Delegations,

As a humanitarian medical organization fighting for the human right to health for all, Médecins du Monde takes part in the COP because the climate crisis is also a health crisis. Furthermore, it is a health crisis that is affecting and will continue to affect disproportionately those population groups who are poor and often marginalized.

Recent events like the massive floods in South Sudan or the great drought in Madagascar have once again illustrated that often those who have contributed the less suffer the most from the climate crisis and its effects.

In consequence, the equitable protection of human health all around the globe must be the guiding principle of our actions. The right to health must be effective for each and every one. The present plans of action and commitments do not sufficiently reflect this principle. To respond to the basic needs of the global population we must incorporate a public health perspective in all environmental actions and actively promote the creation of resilient health care systems. Only by updating mitigation and adaptation strategies accordingly we will be able to respond to the ongoing global health crisis.

Wealthy countries not only need to reduce their proper ecological footprint but also share their resources with less privileged ones. Doing so, we will often be able to fight climate crisis and directly improve people’s health simultaneously. Thus, actions with health and social co- benefits shall be a priority.

We need to act now to protect the universal right to health and stop the ongoing health crisis.

With our best wishes,

Médecins du Monde International Network

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