Our attendance at COP27: If the planet’s health is our health, what are we doing about it?
The health of our planet and the health of every person on it are inextricably linked. Climate change threatens immense damage both to the planet, and to everybody’s health, further stretching the health systems on which we relyDavid Croft Global Head of Sustainability, Reckitt
The upcoming UN Climate Change Conference - COP27 - in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, represents an important moment in the fight against climate change. It is the biggest annual gathering, where Heads of State, Ministers, activists, businesses and leaders will come together to turn climate pledges into action. We’re ready to play our part, leveraging the developments we made last year.
We were pleased to have been able to put our purpose into action at COP 26 last year in Glasgow, UK. As its official hygiene sponsor, we ensured delegates were protected throughout the two weeks of the summit. Through our work with partners and our leading brands, we are ensuring our business and the communities in which we operate are more resilient to environmental risks.
Planetary health is public health
The connection between public and planetary health is at the centre of the climate change debate, with a strong consensus on the scale and urgency of the issue. We are working to help people adapt to the impacts of climate change, by supporting disease prevention, improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and innovating new products to meet the health challenges raised by climate change.
And we are easing the burdens on health systems by empowering people to engage in self-care, supporting research into hygiene, health and climate change and encouraging positive behaviour change from our customers. Through our 2030 ambitions, we are working to mitigate the impact of our own supply chain and help our customers mitigate their own impact on the natural world.
Now is the time for words to be turned into action on the ground. If we are to secure a sustainable future for all, we must join forces in a collective effort to combat the adverse impacts of climate change.
At COP 27, we will be focusing our efforts on bringing together distinguished experts on climate and health, to continue to drive awareness, collective action and solutions, with an itinerary of events, meetings, and roundtable sessions.
We are hosting a number of events:
1. The missing link: Understanding the intersection of climate and health
Planetary and public health are intrinsically linked. The climate crisis is already causing untold deaths, placing strained healthcare systems under even greater pressure and worsening health inequalities across the world. This event will bring together pre-eminent, international experts on climate and health, to explore how Governments, NGOs and the private sector, can drive action and innovative solutions, at the intersection of climate and health.
2. Planetary health is public health: Building resilience for people and systems
The UN has called out climate change and environmental degradation as two of the most pressing threats to humanity’s future. To reduce the impact of climate change on health, and the healthcare systems we all rely on, the world needs us to accelerate action at the intersection of climate and health. Launching an updated guidance document, this event will explore what the private sector can do to respond to the challenge, and the role policy makers and finance can play.
3. Planetary health is public health: water access and finance
Water is essential to health, life and our shared prosperity. Yet droughts, floods, and poor access to sanitation now affect every continent, and usable water is increasingly scarce. This event will discuss how we can drive the 3x increase in funding needed to reach SDG6, as well as the role of water access in unlocking improved health, gender equality and climate resilience around the world.
4. Global warming and the next pandemic: the growing pest threat
The World Health Organization has warned that the next pandemic is likely to be caused by an insect borne disease, and climate change, urban densification and biodiversity loss are only heightening this threat. This event will explore how we should respond - including the urgent need to find new ways to reduce disease transmission, improve pandemic preparedness, and ensure an integrated approach to climate and health.
5. Healthier Cities, Healthier Lives on the path to Net Zero
Cities house over 50% of the world’s population, are responsible for 75% of global CO2 emissions and are growing rapidly. Cities are also acutely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This session will capture perspectives from city leaders across the world to share lessons, help accelerate progress on SDG11, and explore how a people-centred approach to the net zero transition can drive greater equality in health, wellbeing, and economic opportunity.
By engaging millions of people every day through our brands, we aim to reinvigorate a positive vision for a cleaner, healthier world.
I deeply believe that COP 27 is an opportunity to showcase unity against an existential threat that we can only overcome through concerted action and effective implementationPresident Abdel Fattah El-Sisi President of the Arab Republic of Egypt