This is a statement delivered by the World Heart Federation at the WHO Executive Board Meeting (EB145) on Agenda Item 22: Climate change, pollution and health.
We applaud Member States for addressing climate change and urge this body to take decisive action through a strong, comprehensive resolution.
Climate change has a wide range of impacts on health and cardiovascular health in particular, from direct exposure pathways such as heat events and air pollution to indirect knock-on effects. Climate change disproportionately affects susceptible populations, including people living with cardiopulmonary diseases. In 2019, roughly 7 million deaths, or 12 percent of all deaths worldwide, were attributable to air pollution, with as many as half from heart disease and stroke.
Progress in turning recommendations into action has been slow. 9/10 people worldwide are exposed to air pollution above WHO Air Quality Guidelines. We encourage a WHA resolution on climate and health that embraces win-win policies like active transportation, commitments to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and use, strengthening healthy cities, and building resilient health systems through strong PHC coverage.