Our participation

ISDE used its seats in the COP27 to sponsor the participation of young and of experienced medical doctors in the international climate crisis negotiations.
An inheritance donated to us by the philanthropist Hannes Hatje, enabled us to provide also some travel funds to our participants.
We have asked them to provide feedback on their experiences in Sharm El-Sheikh.


It has often been pointed out rightfully, that “the presence of the health sector at COP is key”. Indeed, health aspects of climate change are increasingly realized among negotiators. This is also thanks to the information work done for many years by WHO and NGOs from the health sector including our society. This information work includes net-working, participating in several fora and in giving presentations at various sessions.
Courtney Howard from CAPE, Canada, gave the following presentations:
•    Tuesday Nov 8th 17:30-18:45 WHO Pavilion: Communicating Efficiently on Climate Change (Maria Neira and Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum were co-presenters)
•    Wednesday, Nov 10th UNFCCC Futures Lab "Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Transforming the Health Care Sector" (Maria Neira and many other co-presenters)
•    Saturday, November 12th, Canada Pavilion, "Implementing a National Adaptation Strategy that addresses the wildfire, flood and extreme heat risks that Canada is already facing today," (Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault co-presenter.
Robb Barnes, also from CAPE, Canada, gave these presentations:
•    "A Healthy Response to Climate Change: Successful case studies of health professionals’ leadership to improve the health of people and the planet." Thursday, Nov. 10 at 9am (EET) at Canada Pavilion.
•    "Leading a Healthy Response to Climate Change," with We the People Nigeria and Reclame Fossielvrij. Friday, Nov. 11 at 3:30pm (EET) at WHO Pavilion.
He concludes: “COP27 was a major strategic contribution to all of CAPE’s program areas, especially its Climate Program. The concentration of policymakers, key announcements, and events meant that the team could cover in a number of days what might otherwise take months to coordinate.
Presence at COP27 is also serving to bolster CAPE’s credibility on the climate file. While our mandate is Canada-specific, decisions at COP have profound effects on government and industry decisions related to climate action and climate justice. Understanding and participating in these spaces means we are part of a highly select group of organizations who are conversant in the complete, global context of climate discussions.”

Reporting back

Networking also includes connecting back to the civil society. This is done via tweeds (1, 2) by Courtney Howard. Paolo Lauriola from ISDE Italy was active in reporting his impressions in videos, newspaper articles (1, 2), and blogs (in Italian). He is rather critical about the large summits. But he expresses his hope that the constant pressure from the civil society will finally make a difference. Pouné Saberi from PSR Pennsylvania also reported from COP27 in a blog.  He concludes: “It will remain to be seen whether the importance of health will be truly recognized in the negotiations. But seeing the strength of the health delegations compared to all the prior COPs I feel much more confident that health just might become the language that unites all nations in coming together to address climate change.”
Ilse Kleijne from NVMM, Netherlands, wrote a report  (in Dutch) for the Medish Contact. She concludes: “Making health count as an important argument for combating climate change. With that aim in mind, Dutch doctors took part in the annual climate conference of the United Nations.” Valesca Venhof and Petra Koenders already prepared information material prior to the conference, including a short film and giving interviews. They highlight the many contacts that were possible during the conference and they conclude: “It were the small things that collectively made the difference.”

Ferdinando Laghi