Climate-resilient health systems are on the rise worldwide, thanks to the work of the Adaptation Action Coalition

The climate crisis is increasingly places stress and shocks on the capacity of health systems to prevent, adapt and respond to increased health risks and can also be impacted by shocks posed by increased weather events. In order to protect the health of populations from the effects of climate change and avoid widening health inequities, countries must build climate resilient health systems.

Now, on May 6, 2021, the Climate Resilient Health Systems Initiative of the Adaptation Action Coalition was launched, as part of the 12th Petersberg Climate Dialogue (PCD XII).

The Adaptation Action Coalition, formed in January 2021, builds on the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit (UNCAS) “Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience”. Founded in partnership with the UK, Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, the Netherlands, Saint Lucia, the Coalition aims to build momentum and accelerate action to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue series was launched in 2010, after the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and has been hosted annually by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The Dialogues facilitate open discussions in small groups on key issues in international climate policy.

The Adaptation Action Coalition was founded in January 2021, with the aim to build momentum and accelerate action to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. At the 12th Petersburg Climate Dialogue (PCD XII), the Adaptation Action Coalition called for additional commitments to building health systems that are both climate resilient and environmentally sustainable.

The Climate Resilient Health Systems Initiative will support the goals of the Adaptation Action Coalition by addressing the health impacts of climate change while strengthening health resilience. The initiative has a clear vision: to ensure that by 2030 all health systems worldwide have strengthened resilience against climate impacts.

Governments can join the initiative by committing to conduct climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessments (V&As); develop a health National Adaptation Plan (HNAP); or by allocating, or applying for, climate finance for health action. In addition to commitments under the AAC, governments are encouraged to develop an action plan or roadmap for achieving a sustainable low carbon health system that minimizes climate impacts and increases resilience.

The session Adaptation Action Coalition for Health: Building climate resilient health systems will take place on May 6th from 9am – 11am CEST. It will cover best practices on building climate resilient health systems, and discuss strategies and actions needed to drive higher ambition in this area. The session will see the launch of the Adaptation Action Coalition’s Initiative on building climate resilient health systems and will conclude with a call to action for countries to protect their population through more resilient health systems.

With the participation of Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK COP26 Champion on Adaptation and Resilience; Vijay Rangarajan, Director General Americas and Overseas Territories, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, FCDO; Lord Bethell of Romford, Minister for Innovation, UK Department of Health and Social Care, DHSC; Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete, Minister of Health Fiji; Teresa Ribera, Vice -President and Minister for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Spain; Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General WHO; Dr. Maria Neira, Director Environment, Climate Change, Health, WHO; and others.

Photo of hospital staff in Bangladesh courtesy of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders.

For more information on the Initiative on Climate Resilient Health Systems, contact the WHO climate change team at

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