Emergency docs discuss takeaways from climate summit

November 29, 2022 – Three emergency room physicians spoke about progress made in addressing the climate crisis at the recent UN climate summit in Egypt (COP27)—as well as the significant challenges that remain—at a November 22 panel discussion.

Panelists included Caleb Dresser, Kimberly Humphrey, and Tess Wiskel, all of whom are Climate Change and Human Health Fellows at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE) and the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights. The virtual panel was co-hosted by C-C-CHANGE and the FXB Center; Aaron Bernstein, C-CHANGE interim director, moderated.

The speakers, quoted in a November 23 MedPage Today article, praised the establishment of a “loss and damage” fund to support low-income countries that are most vulnerable to climate disasters, although they’ve contributed little to the crisis. Said Dresser, “If you had told me a month ago that this fund would even exist on paper, I would have been shocked. The next step is, we need to figure out how we fund it.” Wiskel noted that although the fund is “nowhere where it needs to be,” it is still a step in the right direction.

There’s plenty more work to do, the speakers agreed. Humphrey noted that the world is still on track for an average of about 2.7 degrees Celsius temperature rise this century, “which will be catastrophic for our planet.” She added, “We can’t have healthy people without a healthy planet.”

Read the MedPage Today article: Physicians Push for More Action on Fossil Fuel Reduction After COP27

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