Health implications of loss and damage

Impacts, responses and the role of the UNFCCC L&D mechanism

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Doctor listening to heart beat of elderly woman with stethoscope. Photo by visoot on Adobe Stock.
6 Oct 2022

On 6th October, E3G and Health and Climate Network co-sponsored a webinar on the health implications of loss and damage. Loss of health and risk to life are considered a ‘non-economic loss and damage’, but the personal impacts and very real economic costs to the people and countries it affects are extreme.

Health loss and damage may be caused by direct impact of extreme weather including typhoons or extreme heat, and access to healthcare services can be severely limited when climate disasters strike. Across the world vector borne disease such as malaria or tsetse are migrating to new areas, impacting new populations. There are physical and mental health outcomes of climate induced migration, and an increase in malnutrition or lack of fresh water in areas where drought strikes year on year. 

As pressure mounts for COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh to deliver a strong outcome on L&D, how should climate L&D to health and life be put at the centre of these discussions?

This webinar presented current examples of the real threats of climate induced health loss and damage, and its impacts on communities and countries. It explored means of predicting, limiting, or preventing health L&D, and how health professionals should respond to climate disasters. Finally, we discussed how the UNFCCC Warsaw mechanism on L&D should best account for health loss and damage, and why finance for L&D is essential for health measures for impacted communities. 

Speakers included:

  • Taylor Dimsdale, on health in the context of climate risk, E3G
  • Maria Guevara, MSF on humanitarian health responses to climate L&D
  • Colin McQuistan, Practical Action on the UNFCCC WIM
  • Elizabeth Willetts, World Health Organisation 

Watch the recording here


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