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Dr. Mohieldin: Climate Action Must Include Protecting Public Health from Climate Change Impacts


Thu 28 Sep 2023 | 12:57 PM
Dr.Moheildin
Dr.Moheildin
Nada Mustafa

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that climate change has negative impacts on public health and threatens human lives, which requires climate action to include protecting public health from the impacts of climate change.

This came during his participation in Galala University International Dental Conference, attended by Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Health and Population, Major General Bahaa El Din Zeidan, Chairman of the the Egyptian Unified Procurement Authority (UPA), Dr. Mohamed El Shinnawi, President of Galala University, Dr. Adel El Adawi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University, Dr. Ihab Hassanein, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University and President of the Conference, and Eng. Hani Mahmoud, Cahirman of Terous Misr Foundation for Development.

Mohieldin stated that the paths to achieve SDGs, including those related to health and climate change, have been negatively affected by the successive health, geopolitical and economic crises in the world, which requires redoubling efforts in the coming years to achieve the targeted sustainable development for 2030.

Mohieldin explained that climate change has a very negative impact on human health, pointing to the statistics of the World Health Organization (WHO), which reported that climate change will affect the health of 250,000 people annually between 2030 and 2050, and will cause the spread of diseases, epidemics and injuries resulting from high temperatures, as well as negative psychological effects, in addition to deaths and direct injuries resulting from extreme weather events related to climate change such as floods, hurricanes and forest fires.

He underlined the importance of investing in human capital and public health, mobilizing finance for the health sector's infrastructure, supporting communities and families to face the challenges of climate change, and enhancing countries' efforts to provide health support to their citizens.

Mohieldin stressed that adaptation to climate change has become inevitable in light of the clear deviation from achieving emissions reduction target. He said that Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (SAA) is one of the most important outcomes of COP27 as it includes practical program to achieve adaptation through five main work areas: food and agriculture, water and nature, coasts and oceans, human settlements, and infrastructure, explaining that the addition of health care is currently being studied as a sixth area of work of the agenda.

The climate champion noted the importance of the Loss and Damage Fund that was launched during COP27, which the transitional committee seeks to finalize its organizational structure during the coming period, explaining that the fund will pay special attention to the health care sector so that it becomes more able to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Mohieldin confirmed that universities and research centers play a pivotal role in guiding and implementing climate action, which highlights the importance of mobilizing finance and investments for the field of scientific research and studies in a way that maximizes their role in confronting climate change, praising the role played by Egyptian universities in the success of COP27 and the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects (NISGP).

“Sustainability and digitalization are the wings of universities and research centers to achieve the hoped-for progress in implementing SDGs, including the goals of supporting public health and confronting climate change.” Mohieldin said, pointing to the need to consider universities as a center for the development of communities and cities, whether existing or new ones.