ICN warns urgent action required after COP27

22 November 2022


The International Council of Nurses (ICN) welcomes the decision by leaders at COP27 to set up a fund to alleviate the damage caused by climate change in the most affected countries. However, ICN says COP27 missed the opportunity to take the necessary urgent action to reduce emissions.

ICN President Pamela Cipriano underlined that climate change is a significant driver of inequalities in health that mean billions of people are unable to access essential healthcare.

Dr Cipriano said:

“The decision to set up a loss and damage fund for vulnerable countries is welcome, but it is extremely disappointing that COP27 delegates, which included many heads of state, did not take the urgent action needed to bring the planet back from the brink of a global humanitarian catastrophe.

‘Nurses everywhere are witnessing the health effects of climate change every day and ICN, on behalf of the world’s 28 million nurses, is appealing to politicians and policymakers to act now. Many argue it may already be too late to reverse the devastating effects of global environmental change, and the world can ill afford to kick the can down the road to COP28.”

ICN believes that the nursing profession has a duty to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, to protecting health and wellbeing, and promoting social justice.

ICN is a member of the Global Climate and Health Alliance and it has recently signed the petition calling for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, which calls for an end to the expansion of fossil fuel use, and the management of the global transition away from the use of coal, oil and gas.

Last week ICN added its voice to warnings that too few women are taking part in the COP27 climate negotiations, despite evidence that they bear a disproportionate burden from the effects of climate change.

Download the communique here