MEDICAL WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION, 27th INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ACCRA GHANA 2007
WHEREAS climate change and environmental degradation is occurring as a result of human activity, and MWIA recognizes the reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, including the resulting widespread negative health and social impacts on many people
IT IS RESOLVED That Governments be held accountable for compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, and that industrialised countries have the responsibility to assist other nations, both financially and technically, in their response to climate change and environmental degradation.
The temperature is rising faster than has ever occurred in the history of the planet, with increasing effects on species survival, human health, and weather patterns. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, advisory body of scientists to the UN) agrees that human production of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to the climate change occurring. There is widespread concern that we are increasing our greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) and not reducing them.
As early as 2002, JAMA published Patz & Khaliq from John Hopkins University. They concluded “Global climate change is expected to have broad health impacts. If current warming trends continue, heat waves, floods and droughts and their attendant physical effects are likely to become more frequent and severe.”
This will result in housing and food shortages, and a degradation of ocean & fish life. There already is an increase in climate related infectious diseases. As sea level rises and climate associated disasters increase we can expect an increase in displaced populations and the world will be faced with a massive refugee problem. Norman Myers from Oxford University predicts that there will be 200 million climate refugees by 2050.
Developed countries have been the greatest emitters of greenhouse gases, yet most of the damage from climate change is occurring in poorer countries. An environmental justice perspective requires that developed countries assist developing countries in technology to reduce their GGE and to assist in the plight of climate refugees as this becomes an issue.