The World Health Organization (WHO)'s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has pleaded with world leaders to protect health from climate change and commit to supporting pledges on air safety standards and on financial resources for those affected by climate change.
The call to action comes ahead of the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations General Assembly, which will showcase the commitments governments are making to address climate change and to secure and improve the health of their citizens.
Two of these commitments have been developed by the WHO and its partners. The first is a pledge to ensure that air meets WHO safety standards by 2030 at the latest and to align climate change and air pollution policies, while the second is to provide financial resources to protect people from the detrimental health impacts of climate change.
In a statement, the Director-General described climate change as “one of the world’s most urgent health threats,” adding “I urge those who have not yet made their commitments to join those who have pledged action to protect people from the devastating heatwaves, floods and cyclones linked with climate change, and to reduce the risk of malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea, and heat stress."