PiA 2020: Health Promoting NDCs
The COVID-19 pandemic brings a new challenge to NDC implementation as countries are forced to redirect climate investments towards virus curtailment and promoting economic recovery. The pandemic also opens new opportunities to align NDCs with health resilience—often overlooked in NDCs due to its indirect association with climate change or to the fact that linkages with climate are managed by the health sector itself or addressed by other policy tools, such as National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). By taking a whole-of-government approach to health-climate alignment, countries unlock new sources of adaptation and resilience finance, tackle public health issues, and bolster their economies for the long term.
The NDC Partnership is already active in the health sector. Twenty-one countries—more than a quarter of those where the Partnership is active—have submitted health-related requests to the Partnership. Several of these were during the NDC updating process (or CAEP; see How the Partnership Works section). Countries often include health in Partnership requests as one of many sectors to be addressed under an objective. Thirteen countries have developed detailed plans to integrate substantive health-related actions into their NDCs. For instance, Ecuador developed an action plan with specific, time-bound, and costed measures to be implemented by health-related institutions. Meanwhile, other countries have included health in plans that cover different vulnerable sectors in parallel. Finally, some member countries have included data collection, assessments, health campaigns, and other detailed measures. The World Health Organization (WHO) engages with the Partnership in activities linking health to NDCs—for instance by supporting the health sector in its contribution to Cambodia’s NDC update. Finally, the WHO is responding to requests from 11 member countries to conduct national health co-benefits studies.
For more information on the links between climate change and the health sector, see:
- Health Insight Brief
- The WHO Health & Climate Change Toolkit, which offers a wide range of policy tools, resources, and guidance documents
- WHO’s review on Health in the NDCs
- UNDP’s blog on Climate and Health: Finding Common Cause
- WRI’s blog Key Investments Can Build Resilience to Pandemics and Climate Chang