The Governments of Spain and Peru, together with other agencies and agencies of the United Nations, have created the Coalition of Social and Political Drivers in the face of Climate Action Summit convened by the United Nations next September in New York with the objective that countries increase the ambition of their commitments to combat climate change.
Through it, the countries are invited to reach this meeting with a voluntary commitment that contributes to raising the ambition necessary to comply with the Paris Agreement and the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030.
Specifically, Spain, Peru and their collaborators urge the States to assume a greater commitment in health and air quality issues, implementing policies aimed at achieving the values of the World Health Organization (WHO) on this matter; to bet decisively for an ecological transition that leaves no one behind by developing national plans for a just transition and the generation of quality jobs; and to develop gender policies that guarantee the full participation of women in this process.
The members of the coalition, who began their work at the beginning of 2019, defend that facilitating a greater commitment in these three issues, with a high social and economic impact and directly related to global warming, will allow States to attend the New Summit. York with positions that raise climatic ambition on a global scale. This has been expressed at the preparatory meeting for the Climate Action Summit, which concluded yesterday, July 1, in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates).
The delegations of the countries present at the meeting have received the proposals with interest. In the coming weeks, Spain, Peru and the rest of the members will intensify their contacts with the rest of the countries to obtain their voluntary adherence to the commitments proposed by the coalition, whose objective is to reach the Climate Action Summit with the greatest number of supports. possible.
Improvement of air quality
The main driver of climate change, the combustion of fossil fuels, causes more than 7 million deaths annually worldwide. Air pollution also causes long-term damage to health, from asthma to impaired brain development in children. The overall cost for human well-being is approximately US $ 5.11 trillion each year.
The members of the coalition consider that there is a great opportunity to simultaneously advance the objectives of climate, health and sustainable development. The fulfillment of the Paris Agreement is expected to save more than one million lives per year by 2050 only by reducing air pollution, and the value of health benefits would be approximately double the investment needed to address mitigation of global warming. "When health is taken into account, curbing climate change is an opportunity, not a cost, and provides an immediate and visible benefit to local populations," they say.
Therefore, the coalition invites the states and their subnational entities to sign a commitment on health as the political engine of greater ambition on climate change. Among other aspects, this commitment contemplates that the signatory countries and entities implement air quality and climate action policies that allow achieving the values of the WHO environmental air quality guidelines, which are more ambitious than regulations that currently apply to the EU Member States.
Likewise, the countries are invited to activate policies that promote electric and sustainable mobility, and to carry out actions with the objective of provoking changes in the reduction of emissions from road transport.
Finally, the commitment is to assess the number of lives saved, the health benefits of children and other vulnerable groups, and the financial costs that are avoided, in health systems, as a result of the implementation of policies of improvement of air quality and climate action.
From the perspective that the action needed to mitigate and adapt to climate change will have a transformative impact in all countries, with significant implications for job creation and the generation of new income opportunities, the members of the coalition defend that this Transition "can not leave anyone behind", and that has to be managed ensuring a just and socially beneficial ecological transition for all, according to the principles of inclusion and solidarity.
For this reason, they invite States to develop national plans for a just transition with decent green jobs. For this, they raise the need to create mechanisms for inclusive social dialogue; the evaluation in terms of employment and the social and economic impact of the ecological transition; the implementation of measures that facilitate the development of skills and business development adapted to a low carbon model, which facilitates the creation of green jobs; and the design of innovative social protection policies to protect vulnerable workers and groups as well as a commitment to increase the transfer of technology and knowledge to developing countries.
In addition, this initiative seeks to engage the private sector in this process of fair environmental transition. To do this, it invites companies to stimulate economic transformation and to ensure that the new jobs created in this process of change are decent and inclusive.
Finally, the countries are asked to make gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls an essential part of their actions against climate change.