Statement on the WHA77 Resolution on Climate Change and Health

Date:  04 June 2024

Statement on the WHA77 Resolution on Climate Change and Health

The IHF and its members share a commitment to address sustainability challenges working with, and for, our communities. In November 2022, our General Assembly approved the IHF Statement on Sustainability. It illustrates the conviction of IHF Members that every hospital and healthcare organization has a role to play in addressing climate change, and that we consider this role to be a natural fit with the core purpose of healthcare delivery.

The annual World Health Assembly (WHA) is an opportunity to ensure that the health impacts of the climate crisis and climate action are discussed and acted upon at the highest level of global health decision making. At WHA77 in May 2024, governments brought forward a Resolution on Climate Change and Health for the first time in over a decade. The resolution was adopted and is now a formal expression of the opinion or will of the 192 Member States.  In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) made climate change and health one of the six strategic objectives for its General Programme of Work 2025–2028, emphasizing the importance and urgency to act.

As an organization working at the intersection of health and climate, and in our role as the global voice of hospitals, the IHF and Geneva Sustainability Centre welcome this resolution. It demonstrates growing global recognition that the healthcare sector has a significant role to play in taking positive actions to address both the consequences of climate change on health, and the contribution that the sector can make to decarbonizing and reducing its environmental impact – building sustainability and resilience into health systems worldwide.

The IHF Statement on Sustainability was the starting point for our long-term engagement to take action on climate change. Our focus is on driving good practice and supporting the development of leadership that can accelerate change, in any setting and at any stage in a hospital’s sustainability journey. Our work programme provides solutions for hospitals to get started and improve their strategies. This includes capacity strengthening through executive training, as well as sustainability assessments and key indicators to measure progress.

This World Environment Day (5 June), the IHF calls on hospital and healthcare leaders worldwide to commit to showing leadership for sustainability in their communities. The impact on quality of life, resilience, and wellbeing will improve health for all.

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NOTE 1: WHA is the annual meeting of the world’s ministries of health, hosted and convened by the WHO to set global health policy. Delegates make decisions on health targets, financing and strategies that will guide their own public health work. The IHF, along with representatives of three IHF Members, attended the WHA77 (May 2024) as a non-state actor in official relations.

NOTE 2: Founded in 1929, the IHF is a global not-for-profit, non-governmental membership organization. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the IHF is the global voice of hospitals and health systems. The IHF provides its members with a platform for knowledge exchange and networking with different actors in the health sector. Motivated by a shared commitment to well-managed hospitals, its members act together to improve the standard, quality, and level of healthcare service delivery.

NOTE 3: Established in 2022, the IHF’s Geneva Sustainability Centre’s work programmes support executives in hospitals and health systems to decarbonize and build climate resilience into decisions, strategic, and operational plans. The Geneva Sustainability Centre drives transformation at leadership, management, and institutional levels.

  • Information and capacity strengthening: An executive learning programme, tools, and resources including the Carbon Emissions Learning Lab.
  • Raising the standard and accelerating action globally: Stakeholder and partnership working, accreditation standards, and a certification programme.
  • Strategic planning and progress against key performance indicators: The Sustainability Accelerator Tool and consultancy support.

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