HCWH at COP 21 | Media Links

Between November 30 and December 11, more than 80 heads of states and other influential leaders with gather in Paris for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in an effort to seek a legally binding, global agreement to reduce carbon emissions and the impacts of climate change.

Follw us on Twitter @HCWithoutHarm and stay up to date with all the news, announcements, and activities during COP21.

News from COP21

Paris and Beyond: Dignity Health Acts on Climate as Part of Healing Mission

[December 9] Last week, Dignity Health announced that it was halting investments in coal companies in order to protect human health. On the heels of this news, we caught up with Sister Susan Vickers, Dignity Health's Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, and Rachelle Wenger, Director of Public Policy & Community Advocacy, who were in Paris for the UN conference on climate change. We asked them about the significance of these talks and what climate change means for health care...(Continue reading)

Unprecedented Consensus of Health Stakeholders Demands Ambitious Climate Action at 2015 Climate and Health Summit

[December 7] In the weeks leading up to the Paris meeting, the health sector has stepped up to ensure that governments understand the health implications of our climate choices. Doctors, nurses, public health professionals, NGOs and students all over the world have been lobbying climate negotiators on global, regional and local levels, demanding ambitious action. 

In the closing hours of the Summit, the results of combined declarations from every part of the health sector were released. Signatories represented more than 1,700 health institutions, and 13 million health professionals. This unprecedented medical consensus demanded action to mitigate climate change, enhance the adaptive capacity of communities and health systems, and improve decision-making processes around health and energy policy areas...(Continue reading)

USDA Report: Climate Change Poses Threat to Food Security

[December 4] The Climate Change, Global Food Security, and U.S. Food System assessment represents a consensus of authors and includes contributors from 19 Federal, academic, nongovernmental, and intergovernmental organizations in four countries, identifying climate-change effects on global food security through 2100, and analyzing the United States’ likely connections with that world. 

The assessment finds that climate change is likely to diminish continued progress on global food security through production disruptions leading to local availability limitations and price increases, interrupted transport conduits, and diminished food safety...Read full report (PDF) 

Dignity Health to Limit Coal Investments 

[December 3] Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems, today announced it will restrict investments in thermal coal companies, and expand investments in sustainability-focused asset managers and investment opportunities addressing climate change. The non-profit health system has recently strengthened its advocacy efforts by urging portfolio managers to include environmental sustainability into their investment decisions. This new screen against thermal coal has led Dignity Health to divest its holdings in a number of companies, and to restrict further investment in the industry...(Continue reading)

Hospitals Worldwide Join Together in the Fight Against Climate Change

[December 3] This week during the United Nation’s Conference on Climate Change, health system representatives from around the world have gathered in Paris to announce a series of commitments to reduce carbon emissions and exert leadership to combat climate change. More than 50 major health systems, hospitals, and health organizations representing over 8,200 hospitals and health centers in 16 countries from every continent, have come together to join the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge...(Continue reading)

Leading Health Organizations Issue Paris Platform for Healthy Energy

[December 3] Health Care Without Harm, together with partners, has issued the Paris Platform for Healthy Energy, calling for a global shift from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. The Paris Platform, endorsed by over 40 organizations representing the health sector in more than 80 countries, demonstrates a commitment to leadership and advocacy for clean, renewable, healthy energy choices in order to protect public health from both climate change and local pollution...(Continue reading)

Gundersen, World Leaders Convene For Environment, Public Health Talks

[December 2] Gundersen Health System is showing an international audience health systems can take care of patients and the environment simultaneously, while reducing costs...(Continue reading)

Cop21: Climate and Health Talks Heat Up

[December 2] A daily roundup of highlights from the start of COP 21, plus leading commentary and analysis as the global climate negotiations get started...(Continue reading)

Redesigning for the Climate, Hospitals First

[December 2  |  From Next City] To 2015 MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner Gary Cohen, a hospital polluting — and causing disease through pollution — is an inversion of that healthcare facility’s mission to heal. Cohen founded Health Care Without Harm, an organization with U.S. headquarters in Virginia that seeks to stop hospitals from producing toxic waste. He’s talked one in every five U.S. hospitals into adopting his methods, and this week at COP21 in Paris, he’ll help bring hospitals from around the world together to plan for an accelerating agenda of environmentalism in the healthcare sector. I spoke to him last week about the central role healthcare can play in helping the world cope with climate change...(Continue reading)

Health Care Facilities Reduce Harm to Planet

[December 2  |  From Times Colonist] In this week of the Paris climate change summit, it is worth considering the health-care system’s contribution to climate change and how it can be reduced...Health care, not surprisingly, is a bit of an energy pig. After all, the system is a large part of our economy — about 11 per cent of GDP — and with about two million workers, is the third-largest employment sector in Canada after retail and manufacturing...(Continue reading)

Report: Health and Climate in 2015 and Beyond

[December 2] A new report from the Global Climate and Health Alliance outlines the health implications of the UN Climate Conference in Paris and the need for a strong deal and an increased emphasis on health within national and international climate policy. The purpose of the document is to provide health professionals, policy-makers, UNFCCC negotiators and members of the public with an introduction to why COP21 is important for health, and how public health evidence can strengthen national and international climate policy...(Continue reading

COP21 Kicks Off

[December 1] A daily roundup of highlights from the start of COP 21, plus leading commentary and analysis as the global climate negotiations get started...(Continue reading)

Health Care Climate Council Calls for Climate Action to Protect Public Health

[November 18] On the eve of this historic event, 16 of the most influential U.S. health systems are calling on global leaders to take decisive action that will protect human health from climate change, both now and for future generations. Making up the Health Care Climate Council, these health systems represent hospitals across the United States that are committed to climate action...(Continue reading)

Why We Need Hospitals to Lead the Fight Against Climate Change

In his recent Huffington Post article, Josh Karliner discusses how health care can deploy its significant moral, political, and economic influence to transition us away from fossil fuels and to a 21st century economy founded on clean, renewable energy...(Continue reading)

What is COP21?

Watch this 2-minute video from Green.TV and find out. 


Paris photo credit: Roman Boed