Health, Environment and Climate Change

STATEMENT by Ms. Marit Viktoria Pettersen, Senior Advisor at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on agenda point 11.6 on May 23rd 2019 during the 72nd World Health Assembly.

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The world is in the middle of a massive environmental health crisis causing 13 million premature deaths every year. Only with a substantial global effort, and consolidated and strong leadership, can we succeed in combatting the crisis and avoiding deaths. 

Norway believes that leadership by WHO and the health sector is needed to combat air pollution, climate change and other environmental challenges. Therefore, we strongly support both the global strategy on health, environment and climate change, as well as the plan of action on health and climate change in small island developing states.

In the view of Norway, both documents present a clear vision and way forward for how the health sector can contribute to secure a healthy planet with healthy people and substantially reduce deaths and disease from unhealthy environments and climate change. Action across sectors and a “Health in All Policies” approach is important. The strategy also urges Member States to develop ambitious national action plans in addition to the international efforts.

Norway has been a proud supporter of WHOs work on air pollution and climate change for several years. Norway intends to continue the financial support to limit health impacts of climate change, and we encourage other countries to contribute. We count on the Director General to mobilize necessary resources in order to ensure implementation of the strategy and the SIDS action plan.