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NUPGE supports World Health Day 2022

The pandemic has placed a global focus on health care and how we are all connected. World Health Day 2022 focuses attention on urgent actions to keep humans and the planet healthy.

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Ottawa (07 April 2022) — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is supporting the World Health Organization's (WHO) call for urgent action to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being. April 7 is World Health Day, and this year, the focus is on the estimated 13 million deaths which the WHO says are due to avoidable environmental causes.

Health of the planet and people are linked

Highest among the environmental causes of death is the climate crisis which the WHO believes is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. Political, social and commercial conditions are driving the climate and health crisis and the WHO cites a range of impacts which the climate crisis is having on the health of the planet and on our health. 

Climate change, wealth inequality and pandemic impacts

In 2021, on World Health Day, WHO is focusing on "building a fairer, healthier" world. NUPGE has pointed out the glaring inequality of the climate crisis and  the clear links between poverty, the climate crisis and the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic. NUPGE also continues to champion the call for vaccine justice and has recently joined a call to reject a weak compromise on the global call for a TRIPS waiver . NUPGE supports the call for  vaccines, treatments and other pandemic-related products to be treated as global public goods available to all.

A just recovery and a just transition are both urgently needed

NUPGE supports the call for greater action on climate change, including implementing a just transition and a just recovery. Larry Brown, NUPGE President, wrote a letter to then federal Minister of the Environment, Jonathan Wilkinson calling for the federal government to strengthen its climate accountability legislation and proceed with ambitious climate action through a justice lens. NUPGE has taken a strong position against income inequality and for global justice initiatives and the pandemic has increased the urgency for action. Recent announcements by the federal government signal a renewed focus on climate, but the upcoming federal budget will need to fund initiatives for just transition and just recovery for there to be meaningful progress.