Quotes from Climate and Health Summit Parnters

“Climate Change poses an immediate and grave threat to human health and survival worldwide. Many are already affected. Emissions are rising steeply. Action is needed now- not ‘later’.”  Dr. Hugh Montgomery, Climate and Health Council, UK

“If the world’s governments agree to delay action for the rest of this decade—which it appears they might–history will judge Durban as a moment of global political malpractice of criminal proportions.   It would be the equivalent of diagnosing a patient with lung cancer and then telling them it’s ok to continue smoking for nine more years.   The health of billions of people is at stake.” Joshua Karliner, International Coordinator, Health Care Without Harm

“I’m a 21 year old medical student, and these negotiations have been carrying on my entire life. If we don’t reach a legally binding agreement on climate change soon, the protection and promotion of public health will be seriously undermined, world-wide.”  Nick Watts, International Federation of Medical Students Associations

“The health community has spoken with one voice.  We need urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stop the escalation of health risks; proper support for more climate-resilient health systems; and smarter, more sustainable development to gain the many health benefits of a green economy.  Failure to act would put people’s lives at unacceptable risk, and miss a huge opportunity to protect and promote health.”  Maria Neira, Head of WHO Delegation to COP 17).

“Climate change presents as one of the most important threats to the gains in public health made since the advent of democracy in South Africa.   The vulnerable and marginalised such as the elderly, ill, pregnant women, children and rural poor are at greatest risk. Programmes of mitigation and adaptation must include health.”  Dr. Rajen Naidoo, Nelson R. Mandela Medical School, UKZN, Durban

“Without bold action by governments climate change will magnify existing health crises, deepening and broadening the global burden of disease. The greatest burden will fall on those living in poor countries, who have contributed least to greenhouse gas emissions.”  Peter Orris, MD, MPH, Professor, University of Illinois School of Public Health and Chair Environmental Working Group of World Federation of Public Health Associations

“Climate change represents a major threat as well as a significant opportunity for human health. Unmitigated climate change is having serious and increasing effects on the health of millions of people around the world. However effective action to cut emissions will not only reduce climate risk, it can bring substantial and immediate health benefits for individuals and populations.” Fiona Armstrong, Climate and Health Alliance, Australia,

“A Climate win is a Health win.  By working together across sectors promoting the co-benefits on climate, health and equity of sustainable development, sustainable production and consumption and waste reduction we can create a climate for Health” Cristina Tirado, Director of the PHI Center for Public and Climate Change

“Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today and with increases in temperatures, changes in precipitation and sea levels, extreme weather events will lead to substantially increased death and disease. The effects of climate change will put increasing pressure on already challenged and fragile health systems and it is imperative that countries, governments, organizations and individuals take all necessary steps to mitigate climate change and to help prepare for and prevent the serious health and environmental consequences of climate change.”  Janet Robinson, FHI360

“Just as our thoughtless actions can harm our planet so can we make a positive and planned contribution to its recovery.  If we all do our part we can collectively secure the health of future generations.”  David C. Benton, Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Nurses

“Strong climate policy represents a major investment in people’s health. The EU has recognised the benefits for lung and heart health, which has helped to put health in the climate agenda in Europe. But in the midst of austerity associated with the Eurocrisis and with greenhouse gas emissions continuing to rise, isn’t it time for the EU to commit to an emission reduction target in Durban that would boost health protection, reduce health care bills and make Europeans proud?” Genon Jensen, Executive Director, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)