Role of Open Access in equitable climate and health action :
disease prevention, health systems resilience, and financing
"Climate change is intrinsically linked to public health…. It is a moral issue. It is an issue of social justice, human rights and fundamental ethics. We have a profound responsibility to the fragile web of life on this Earth, and to this generation and those that will follow." - United Nations Secretary-General.
Confronting the climate crisis will have far-reaching benefits. So far, much of global action and funding towards climate action has focused on mitigation, adaptation and building resilience. However, for successfully tackling the health related problems caused by climate change, adequate research based on scientific data is required. In 2021, WHO estimated that less than 0.5% of multilateral climate finance is allocated to health projects. Another WHO report at COP 26 in Glasgow demonstrated this gap calling for more investment and facilitation of needs-based research.
Global and regional evidence-base for climate and health action, current strategies must address resource allocation for both adaptation and mitigation through a data lens ensuring open access to data. This requires data intensive climate foot printing of the healthcare systems. A recent policy brief published for the G20, highlights three pathways and seven high-impact interventions that G20 nations and other countries can adopt towards achieving net-zero healthcare.
The cross-border nature of climate and health related challenges emphasizes on open access to data, research, financial and technical resources in developing effective and scalable solutions strengthening health systems, and to tackle climate-related health threats.