December 18, 2023

CHAI highlights at COP28

With the historic pact calling for “transitioning away from fossil fuels”, and the adoption of language that called for an accelerated shift in a “just, orderly, and equitable manner”, CHAI was proud to be part of COP28 and the inaugural Health Day, further bolstering our commitment to tackling the effects of climate on health.

CHAI leaders participated in panel discussions that highlighted the pressing challenges of climate and health, including the impacts of extreme heat on maternal and neonatal health, and the urgent need for increased climate/health financing.

New initiatives will drive big impact at the intersection of health and climate

Speaking at the Opening Symposium at the World Health Organization (WHO) and Wellcome Health Pavilion, CHAI CEO Dr. Neil Buddy Shah highlighted three areas where CHAI and partners at the Climate Health Impact Lab are focusing our efforts:

  • Generating global momentum to catalyze more climate funding for health.
  • Listening to government partner priorities for adapting to climate change in their countries and tying them to global pools of capital where needed.
  • Identifying and launching big, scalable solutions we can invest in now.

CHAI speakers also highlighted the importance of developing and scaling existing solutions. Together with 41 organizations, including The Rockefeller Foundation, The Green Climate Fund, the WHO, COP28 Presidency, and the Global Fund, we endorse the guiding principles for financing climate and health solutions. Additionally, the Climate & Health Innovation and Equity Fund (CHIEF) was announced—an initiative aimed at building climate-resilient and equitable health systems through investing in and accelerating innovations, breaking silos, and building systems and capacities for the most vulnerable.

Countries mitigating health challenges in the context of climate change

CHAI Chief Science Officer Dr. David Ripin joined the panel discussion “Birth in a Burning World: Action for Maternal and Newborn Health and Justice​”, sharing interventions and tools that integrate heat action within maternal health services and identify what can be done to address inequalities that cause maternal and child mortality in the context of a warming climate.

In one important event, CHAI partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to convene a roundtable discussion with Ministers of Health and leaders from key donors to discuss the climate and health challenges that countries are facing and how these can be better aligned with donor priorities.

COP28 was the first to include a health focus, but it must not be the last. CHAI is committed to continuing to amplify the role of health in climate change, and to work with our government partners to support them as they adapt to the impacts that have already arrived, and mitigate those that could come in the future.

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