Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
31May/210

We are facing a climate health crisis – it’s time for action

We are facing a climate health crisis - it's time for action

Ahead of next week's Net Zero Nature Summit, Sarah McDonald, vice president of sustainability at GSK Consumer Healthcare, reveals how the company is collaborating on a call to action to ensure climate and health strategies are better aligned

To be health, there is need to a health macrocosm to live in but unfortunately, the health of the world is under threat. Increasing scientific evidence illustrates climate change and nature loss are affecting the world countries and human health in many ways through rising temperatures, including air pollution, water scarcity and plastic pollution.

Core to our corporate approach, GSK Consumer Healthcare is tackling the environmental and societal obstructions between the planet's health and our human health in order to increase the urgency and passion of actions to tackle climate change. This is a problem that disproportionately restraints people's opportunities for everyday health and wellbeing through, for example, greater revelation to air pollution or longer and more acute occurrences of sickness such as allergies or flu.

With climate change and public health challenges are closely linked, the present working one of the most significant public health challenges we are confronted with. The effects of climate change are already causing premature death and worsening state sequels for countless various regions of the world and the expected direct financial costs are predicted to be$ 2-4bn per year by 2030. There is also a critical social equity dimension to the climate and health nexus which all actors from business to government would benefit from understanding in greater depth.

The medical community and healthcare jobs have recently been exploring these connections and are starting to act and propose for others to do the same. However, for countless non-health enterprises, the investment community, and politicians, the connections between climate and health are less clear, and are often neither meaningful nor tangible.

As Richard Ellis of Walgreens Boots Alliance observed, "the links between climate and health are so profound - especially in relation to air pollution, but we're currently analyse them as separate issues. What we do in the next year will determine whether we build climate and health systems that are resilient - including build resilience to the impacts of air pollution, but likewise tackling the root causes of air pollution in ways which can also drive connected benefits for health."

What's once happening and what's missing?

Many ventures have climate plans, with 2,162 the enterprises and 160 investors responsible for over $70 tr resources signed up to the Race to Zero and 1,366 organizations designating Discipline Located Targets( SBTi ); many also have health and well-being policies, particularly in the food sector. But the activities and approaches are not often associated nor are core to business, while opportunities are missed to accelerate progress in both.

Even within the healthcare sector it isn't always clear how best to approach involvements in these two interconnected organizations, and to activate programmes for both. There is also a lack of shared pre-competitive openings or guidance around what actually wields. For non-health sector firms, the lawsuit for play and potential outcomes are particularly unclear and hard to engage with.

What do we want business to do differently as a result?

At the Net Zero Nature Summit on the 27 th May, GSK Consumer Healthcare will disclose how it is collaborating with Forum for the Future, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and other important healthcare and non-healthcare stakeholders to galvanise business actions around the intersection of environment and health - with a particular focus on the challenge of air pollution. We are using COP 26, and occurrences that lead-up to the Glasgow Summit, to support a call to action for business to respond to the climate and public health crisis in ways that drive systemic change.

We offered to host a board to glisten a light on the connections between air pollution, atmosphere, and health, and boost understanding of what different high-risk people are seeing and feeling. We will use the panel discussion to identify how GSK Consumer Healthcare and other stakeholders can drive positive benefits for state and climate - including by working together to mitigate the impact of airborne pollutants. We will identify where action is already happening and how this can be accelerated or scaled up and agree on any areas where organisations can work together to accelerate progress in climate and nature.

Following these discussions, we will help to shape and subscribe a Call to Action gathered by Forum for the Future for businesses to respond to the climate and public health crisis in ways that drive systemic change towards positive atmosphere and health outcomes. Offering clear guidance on what practical steps businesses can take to drive altered in both challenges simultaneously, as well as reinforcing the potent persona that health can play in accelerating action on environment - we aim to use COP 26, and occurrences that lead-up to the Summit to amplify this Call to Action. We hope that you'll join us.

Sarah McDonald is vice president of sustainability at GSK Consumer Healthcare

GSK Consumer Healthcare is a partner of the Net Zero Nature Summit and Net Zero Festival

Further Reading

Business Leadership Brief on Healthy Planet Healthy People

An empowering business narrative and call for health resilient climate action

WHO Manifesto for a health and dark-green post-COVID recovery

Read more: businessgreen.com

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