Twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

30 November–11 December 2015, Paris, France

The 21st annual session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is taking place from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Le Bourget, Paris, France. The primary objective of the conference is to achieve a legally binding agreement relating to the climate by all the nations of the world. More than 20 000 negotiators will discuss the purposes of the agreement, mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions), adaptation, mechanisms to support sustainable development, loss and damage, financing, technology transfer, capacity-building, transparency, implementation and compliance.

Countries agreed to outline their actions in pledged commitments, known as "intended nationally determined contributions" or INDCs, before COP21. So far, 168 INDCs have been submitted, covering 91% of global emissions.

WHO calls on countries to protect health from climate change

WHO calls for a climate change agreement that promotes:

  • strong, effective action to limit climate change and avoid unacceptable risks to global health;
  • increased financing for adaptation to climate change, including public health measures to reduce the risks associated with extreme weather events, infectious diseases, diminishing water supplies and food insecurity; and
  • actions to both reduce climate change and improve health, including reducing the number of deaths from cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases that are caused by air pollution (currently, over 7 million each year).

To support the importance of the new agreement for global public health, WHO is both participating as an observer and organizing a number of events at the conference.

WHO/Europe, with partners, is organizing two events:

  • "Protecting health in a 2 °C world: What are the costs?" on 2 December 2015
  • "Health central to climate action", with the participation of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Minister of Health of France, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and many others, on 9 December 2015.