Physicians, scientists felt heard at COP26

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Health professionals are finally feeling heard after the United Nations climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow, The Washington Post reported Nov. 22. 

More than 100 physicians and healthcare professionals traveled to Glasgow to push the message that climate change is a public health emergency and a health threat multiplier.  

Those on the ground reported a new sense of understanding for the health element of the climate crisis. The World Health Organization even set up a health pavilion at the event for the first time.

"I have been coming to these for the last 12 years, and I have seen how certain topics have gained more relevance. And certainly public health is one of them," said Ramon Cruz, president of the board of directors for environmental advocacy group the Sierra Club. 

However, health wasn't a main feature of some of the discussions at the event, and it wasn't highlighted in many formal agreements.

"We need to make sure that health has an even more prominent stage at COP27," said Renee Salas, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, "and that it's actually incorporated throughout discussions."

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