COP28: Flanders launches first climate health plan
In collaboration with the ministry of Care, Flemish minister for Welfare, Public Health and Family Hilde Crevits is launching the first Climate Health Plan. It is a response to the call by the World Health Organization (WHO) to pay more attention to the health effects of climate change.
The plan responds to the WHO's call and the COP Health Programme discussed at the Dubai climate summit to limit, monitor and remediate the effects of climate change on public health. It outlines the role and implications for health and social policy within the broader climate issue and aims to build societal support.
Crevits highlights three priorities: climate, environmental quality and substances of high concern. A series of actions are outlined around these themes.
The first actions focus on initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the climate resilience of society and the health system. The second focuses on ensuring healthy air quality and a pleasant acoustic environment. The third focuses on substances of high concern, with PFAS being the subject of recent public and political attention.
With these last action points, the Flemish government is expressing its ambition to set a new health target for environmental health care by 2030, aiming to reduce the impact of various environmental factors on our health.
"Our current efforts need to be expanded and accelerated"
"Scientific knowledge about the distribution and effects of substances of concern, such as PFAS and endocrine disruptors, is constantly growing," said Crevits, of Flemish Christian democrats CD&V, in a press release. "By 2030, we want to reduce the impact of these various environmental factors on our health. Our current efforts need to be expanded and accelerated."
The Flemish government is allocating 500,000 euros a year to develop new measures to achieve this goal. The target will soon be presented to advisory councils for review and will then be submitted to parliament for final approval by the Flemish government.
© BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE