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COP27 oil and gas proposal draws strong rebuke from global health community

Sharm el-Sheikh, November 11, 2022:- As the COP27 Climate Summit’s ‘Decarbonization Day’ draws to a close in Egypt, the Global Climate and Health Alliance has denounced the fossil fuel industry’s push for increased oil and gas development. gas, and reiterates the call of the global health community for a rapid and just phase-out of all fossil fuels.

Today, at the midpoint of COP27, several African governments, including Egypt as host of COP27, and COP28 host, the United Arab Emirates, expressed their support for the continuation of the extraction of fossil fuels, especially gas, citing slow transitions to high-revenue renewables. countries as one of the reasons for the expansion of mining [1]. Meanwhile, African climate activists called for an end to fossil fuel expansion on the continent [2].

“The call for more oil and gas production is completely out of step with climate science and health evidence,” said Dr Jeni Miller, executive director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance. “Presented as a necessity for development, new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure would simply lock a new generation into these dirty fuels, at a time when clean energy is viable and ready to scale. The legitimate need of people in low- and middle-income countries to access energy – for clean cooking, for healthcare, for education, for employment and many other key determinants of health – must not incur the health costs associated with fossil fuels”.

“In the meantime, the transition to renewable energy sources such as local solar arrays not only reduces the health risks of climate change and air pollution, but also promotes energy sovereignty. It is vital that high-income countries provide financial support for transition in low- and middle-income countries,” Miller added.

“Governments must commit to
deadline for a complete and just phase-out of fossil fuels as a public health imperative, and define
How? ‘Or’ What this will be delivered through the Mitigation Work Programsaid Jess Beagley, policy officer at the Global Climate and Health Alliance. “Only a complete elimination of fossil fuels will provide the health benefits of cleaner air and protect people from the damage to their health caused by the extraction, transport, processing and combustion of oil, gas and coal.”

In September 20222, the Global Alliance for Climate and Health, which brings together more than 130 health organizations from around the world to fight climate change and protect and promote public health, joined more than 200 health organizations in
calling on governments to urgently develop and implement
a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty end global dependence on fossil fuels to protect the health of people around the world [3].

The burning of fossil fuels is driving climate change, which has significant health impacts ranging from heat exhaustion and dehydration to increases in vector-borne diseases and malnutrition and the myriad impacts of extreme weather events. It is also the main driver of air pollution, responsible for more than seven million premature deaths per year [4].

“At COP26, the original language on phasing out all fossil fuels was watered down to refer only to the phase down relentless coal,” Beagley said. “The elimination of all fossil fuels and fossil fuel subsidies is a public health imperative.”

“Oil and gas also contribute to climate change and the health impacts of their extraction and use. Neither can be considered a “transition fuel”. It is however vital that developing countries in Africa and around the world are not prevented from developing due to insufficient levels of climate finance from developed countries. Some of this funding is disbursed through Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JET-P), in particular to switch from fossil fuels to renewables. concludes Beagley.

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