Three ministries for the global challenge: “The climate crisis is a health crisis”

Three ministries for one of the biggest ongoing challenges. With February on record and the warmest year on record since 2023, ecological transition, health and science leaders launched the Observatory on Health and Climate Change. “This is neither the first nor the second attempt to make this a reality,” Third Vice President Teresa Ribera said Thursday.

The purpose of the observatory, according to Science Minister Diana Morant, is to “provide and disseminate knowledge”. “We will promote scientific research on health and climate change” to “plan and make the best decisions” when it comes to protecting citizens from phenomena such as heat and cold waves “which are increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.” he noted.

Morant insisted on the idea that “the climate crisis is a health crisis”. But, although global, it does not affect all people and areas equally. “This poses greater risks to the most vulnerable populations,” he noted, before urging governments to act now because “the rate at which the Earth’s global temperature is rising is alarming.”

The World Health Organization considers the climate crisis a “very serious” threat to human health. and the latest report Lancet Countdow It foresees more days of extreme heat, which could multiply the number of heat deaths by five per quarter century, in addition to increased infectious and moral diseases, more hunger, malnutrition and problems with access to water. “We can see how diseases like dengue, typical for warmer latitudes, can be a problem here,” explained Health Minister Mónica García, for example, who chose it because, “like every time a new disease problem arises. , public health, the national health system must take a step forward”.

“The first thing our health system must do is to work so as not to contribute to more damage to our planet and, therefore, to people,” Garcia said of his ministry’s goal of decarbonizing the system. “Secondly, it must work to protect the population from the negative effects of climate change, develop a warning system when there are cold or heat waves that threaten health, and be professional climate communicators who promote best habits.” The most vulnerable to protect their health,” he continued.

In the first months of his ministry, Garcia insisted on a central idea: “The job we have, the house we live in, and the neighborhoods we live in are as important or more important than the system that takes care of us.” In fact, the impacts of the climate crisis are more severe on the elderly or people with multiple pathologies, pregnant women, children or low-income populations who do not live in less adapted areas or do not have access to temperature control tools. . In this sense, the Minister indicated that the observatory “will reduce inequality to offer a better life, with more and better life years”.

“It will perform key functions for the progress and well-being of Spaniards, understanding, predicting, but also warning and responding appropriately to climate change and its effects on health,” said Vice President Teresa Ribera. “We have already experienced terrible heat waves, very significant premature deaths in our country. Added to this are other phenomena that are not frequent but can occur, for example, extreme temperatures in other directions that affect mental health” or events such as floods, he listed, during the commemoration of what happened at the European Center in 2021, which 200 left more than dead.

Ribera noted that the Observatory on Health and Climate Change, for which various working groups have already been created, is based on “small victories”. “growing” public attention, “well-documented accreditation” of risks and the need to “generate useful and viable signals” or “convince” that such an organization is needed “to protect people, knowing that there are particularly vulnerable groups that need special attention”, – he agreed with the colleagues of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Source: El Diario

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