Health leaders call for urgent action on climate

International health leaders in Durban for the global climate talks have called on negotiators to push for the most ambitious commitments possible, warning that the direction of current negotiations risks the lives of billions of people around the globe.

Over 200 leaders from more than 30 countries have issued a Declaration and Call to Action following a Global Climate and Health Summit.

Doctors, nurses, public health experts, health and medical scientists, medical students, and health officials from major international health organizations are meeting in Durban to try and influence negotiations by raising awareness about the health risks of climate change and the health benefits of climate action.

The delegates have called for a fair, ambitious and binding global treaty, and urged all countries to commit to immediate strong climate action to protect and promote health.

Delegates agree the urgent replacement of fossil fuel-based energy with clean renewable energy is vital, saying fossil fuels cause "immense harm" to both climate and health, and urge negotiators to commit to equitable contributions to a green climate fund to assist adaptation and mitigation strategies to support human health.

They have themselves committed to action to cut emissions in the health sector, and have urged health professionals worldwide to engage in advocacy for climate action, to help prevent unprecedented loss of life and human suffering.

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