Healthcare leaders to tackle climate change responsibilities
The healthcare industry is adding its voice to the call for governments and businesses to mobilize and halt the warming of the Earth’s climate.
This week in New York City, healthcare leaders will have a global stage to collaborate on potential solutions.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host Climate Summit 2014 on Sept. 23, a precursor to more formal climate negotiations scheduled in Lima, Peru, later this year and in Paris in 2015.
Experts have urged the healthcare industry to take action and speak out on climate change, which many argue has contributed to negative health outcomes, including increased rates of asthma and vector-borne diseases. Most recently at the World Health Organization’s August climate conference, medical leaders called on healthcare organizations to sell their investments in fossil-fuel companies and instead invest in renewable energy sources. Some hospital systems reportedly are considering the switch.
One of the UN summit sessions will focus on how the global climate shift is affecting human health, and how moving to a low-carbon future can mitigate public health risks. Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet, will moderate the session. Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norway, will be one of the panelists.
On Sept. 21, more than a thousand groups—including National Nurses United, the Service Employees International Union, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Health Care Without Harm and several state nurses’ unions—were scheduled to participate in a demonstration in New York City to demand swift policy actions to address climate change.