4 things to know about health at COP26

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The United Nations climate summit wrapped up Nov. 13 in Glasgow, Scotland. After two weeks of negotiations and talks, world leaders representing nearly 200 nations came to an agreement on the final deal.

Climate effects on public health are well evidenced and are gaining recognition as another argument for fighting climate change. At COP26, some headway was made in regard to recognizing effects of climate change on health as well as building capacity and resiliency into health systems to confront the crisis.  

Four things to know:

  1. For the first time ever, there was a dedicated health pavilion at COP26, which offered more than 60 events that touched on the intersection between health and climate.
  2. More than 460 health organizations signed a "healthy climate prescription" letter, calling for stronger climate actions to protect global health. This letter was delivered at the conference.
  3. A group of 50 countries agreed to develop climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems.
  4. However, in the main agreement document to come out of the conference, the effect of climate change on health is not mentioned, and neither is preparing health systems for dealing with these consequences. 

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