Introduction by Croakey: Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Simon Kofe has made global headlines for a speech he has filmed to be delivered to COP26 – the United Nations Climate Conference – in Glasgow, where he is standing knee-deep in seawater to show how his low-lying Pacific island nation is on the front line of climate change.
Reuters reports that his strong gesture comes as regional leaders push for more aggressive action to limit the impact of climate change, calls also made by civil and environmental organisations like the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN), which last week issued climate justice demands at the UN conference.
Week one of #COP26 has delivered more climate action than the world promised in Paris six years ago, writes Wesley Morgan, Research Fellow and Griffith Asia Institute and Climate Council researcher, in this progress report on the critical UN climate talks.
However, he says, the summit outcomes still fall well short of what is required to limit warming to 1.5℃ and attention will turn this week to negotiating an outcome to further increase climate ambition this decade.
And Australia is amongst a group of “laggards” causing much concern globally, as this panel discussion held as a COP26 side event outlined.
“Some were big coal-using countries such as Poland, Canada and Vietnam – however Australia was not among them,” he said.
Ditto, Australia was absent for the critical methane reduction pledge, Holmes a Court reported.
COP26 has been a flurry of global action and discussion, on the main stage, as well as at multiple side events hosted by climate action advocates.
Remy Shergill from the Climate and Health Alliance has kept Croakey readers updated on #COP26, where — as she wrote here — health has been chosen as a priority area at the international climate talks for the first time.
Shergill also took the reins at our #WePublicHealth Twitter account last week, keeping everyone in the loop on #HealthyCOP26 events and discussions and sharing valuable links and other resources, including calls from Pacific Islander groups for stronger action.
Here is a selection of her tweets in the post below.
Remy Shergill writes:
This is a huge moment for #climatehealth. Australia’s climate inaction has a fascinating history. @Kate__Crowley outlines it in this article. #HealthyCOP26
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and knowledge must be at the forefront of national climate responses, as made clear in landmark meeting by @LowitjaInstitut, National Health Leadership Forum and @healthy_climate https://www.croakey.org/listen-to-us-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-leadership-on-climate-and-health/
@theMJA @LancetCountdown made it clear, once again, that we are at CODE RED when it comes to climate change and its effect on our health. https://www.croakey.org/climate-health-experts-declare-code-red-for-the-world-while-australia-is-stuck-on-a-limb/
A welcome dose of #hope from the #iDEA21 conference @DocsEnvAus, but also a timely reminder of the yawning gap between mainstream political debate and discussions informed by medical and scientific evidence. https://www.croakey.org/on-planet-health-and-hope-what-a-roller-coaster-of-a-ride/
And last week 50+ health/med organisations endorsed @healthy_climate new #ClimateHealth policy framework and called on @ScottMorrisonMP @GregHuntMP to implement it to reduce emissions, tackle inequality, improve health. https://www.croakey.org/pushing-forward-with-plans-for-a-national-climate-and-health-strategy/
Health health is missing from our #COP26 plan, writes CAHA Director @farm_strong @ConversationEDU. Climate change is a health emergency, and as a sector, we need to stop adding to the problem.https://theconversation.com/health-care-contributes-7-to-australias-carbon-emissions-but-health-is-missing-from-our-cop26-plan-170624
“World leaders meeting at #COP26 have a perfect opportunity to show that they understand climate change is not only an urgent environmental challenge, but also one of the most urgent health challenges we have ever faced.” https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/climate-change-health-crisis-requiires-global-strategy-by-julia-gillard-2021-11
“Australia have spectacularly failed to deliver an ambitious NDC, have approved 3 new coal projects in the last months, brought no new 2030 target, no new policies to reduce emissions or phase out fossil fuels and ruled out signing the Global Methane Pledge.” https://climatenetwork.org/resource/fossil-of-the-day-for-monday-1-november-2021/
Pacific Island climate justice
Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK4rpeES3Uw
Via The WHO Pavilion
Check out the speaker list via this thread guide https://twitter.com/healthy_climate/status/1455685430905491457
Speaker list thread guide https://twitter.com/WePublicHealth/status/1456090356647219202
Here’s the link to all the WHO Pavilion events: https://www.youtube.com/c/GlobalClimateandHealthAlliance
This article is published as part of the #HealthyCOP26 series, produced in partnership between Croakey Health Media and the Climate and Health Alliance.
See Croakey’s archive of stories on the climate emergency