WHO Convenes “Friends of Public Health” Group of Climate Negotiators

3 August 2010: The World Health Organization (WHO) has convened an informal group of countries within the UNFCCC process, to highlight the positive contribution of health protection and health promotion considerations to the international climate change negotiations.

The “Friends of Public Health” group aims to facilitate the inclusion of health concerns in future climate agreements, decision making, resource allocation and outreach activities, by emphasizing the effectiveness of public health interventions in climate change adaptation and the immediate health co-benefits of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The group represents a select number of climate change negotiators from countries that have already expressed interest in health and other social implications of climate change. The first informal meeting was held during the last round of UNFCCC talks in Bonn, Germany, and resulted in a commitment from negotiators to support WHO suggestions for text modifications, and promote positive health arguments within their delegations. The Group is open to other interested national delegations, civil society organizations and international agencies. [IISDRS Sources]