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INTUSK MAGAZINE

TO THE CORE OF YOUR HEART

Global Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Treaty Called by Health Organizations

February 8, 2023

Almost 200 health organisations, including the World Health Organization, have called for a global treaty to prevent the proliferation of fossil fuels.

On Wednesday, a call to action was issued, urging governments to agree on a legally binding plan to phase out fossil fuel exploration and production, similar to the tobacco framework convention negotiated under the auspices of the WHO in 2003.

"The modern addiction to fossil fuels is not just an act of environmental vandalism. From the health perspective, it is an act of self-sabotage," said the WHO president, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The Dalai Lama and 100 other Nobel laureates have joined the campaign to end fossil fuel exploration and production, as have the Vatican, several cities and island states, more than 1,000 health professionals, and nearly 3,000 scientists and academics.

Ira Helfand, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, said: "The two overriding issues of our era—the climate crisis and the danger of nuclear war—are deeply intertwined. The climate crisis is leading to greater international conflict and a growing risk of nuclear war, and nuclear war will cause catastrophic abrupt climate disruption. “The world must come together to prevent both of these existential threats.”

As well as posing an existential threat to future generations, fossil fuels are a hazard in the present, claiming more than 8 million lives prematurely in 2018, 18% of that year's deaths, according to one study.

Most of those fatalities were caused by air pollution, but the climate crisis is also increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses and creating ideal conditions for the transmission of food- and water-borne diseases and the spread of vector-borne diseases.

Extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and fires carry their own health hazards, while fossil fuel workers and communities close to plants face a plethora of risks ranging from oil spills and pipeline explosions to lung disease and cancer.

Ruth Etzel, the co-chair of the International Pediatric Association’s environmental health group, said: "We have an ethical duty of care, and we cannot stay silent about the global health risks that fossil fuels represent. Our message to government leaders around the world is this: The health of everyone alive today, and of future generations, depends on phasing out fossil fuels, rapidly, justly, and completely."

Ghana Approves First Ever Malaria Vaccine

Ghana Approves First Ever Malaria Vaccine

The first malaria vaccine has been approved for use in Ghana. Malaria is a disease that kills 620,000 people annually, most of whom are children.

April 13, 2024