February 28, 2024

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The climate crisis and the emergence of infectious diseases: “Pharma” raises its voice at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28)

The climate crisis and the emergence of infectious diseases: “Pharma” raises its voice at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28)

Record temperatures in the summer of 2022, climate migrations, or flood-resistant floating neighborhoods suggest… The starting point for the twenty-eighth annual United Nations Climate Change ConferenceConference of the Parties or COP, which will be held this year in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) from November 30 to December 12.

The COP can take credit for some efforts to combat climate change such as the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 or the Paris Agreement in 2015 and presents this edition as an “opportunity” to They tried again to translate the goals set in 2015 in the French capital into firm commitments. The challenge is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees to avoid irreversible consequences, according to the UN Panel of Climate Experts (IPCC).

To this end, the United Nations hopes to make progress on issues such as financing adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development; Climate Justice, to provide financial and technical support to countries suffering from climate damage, and a reliable supply of clean, affordable energy.

The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry raises its voice at COP28. On this occasion, the sector focuses on mitigating the impact of climate change and the impact of this fact on the incidence of infectious diseases.

Great goal Opposite International and governmental organizations are working to broaden the focus on human health, both individual and collective, in global discussions. Indeed, Tedros Adhanom himself, Director-General of the World Health Organization, has noted these days that “prioritizing health is not just a choice, it is the foundation of resilient societies” and added that “we must change” the conversation and demonstrate the enormous benefits of bolder climate action on our health. And our well-being.

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It is the World Health Organization itself that warns that the climate crisis is contributing to an increase in the spread of non-communicable and infectious diseases. According to the organization led by Adhanom, it is estimated that seven million people die every year due to air pollution alone. To reiterate this, the health sector is responsible for producing about 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions, twice that of aviation, for example. In addition, climate change is also responsible for the increase in diseases such as cholera or dengue fever.

Impact on the pharmaceutical sector

More than 50% of health sector emissions are generated in production supply chains, and the energy consumed by these chains represents approximately 25% of total industry-derived emissions.

In order to reduce environmental impact and mitigate the climate crisis, The global pharmaceutical industry is working to increase the decarbonization of healthcare. To this end, some multinational companies operating in this sector are entering into negotiations with energy suppliers from China and India to increase renewable energy in the world. Suppliers.

The Asian giant and India are two major markets for manufacturing pharmaceutical products, and are estimated to represent about 50% of the raw materials used to produce medicines, according to the European Chemical Industry Council.

AstraZeneca, through its CEO, Pascal Soriot, is calling for the decarbonisation of medicine development, manufacturing and delivery and working collaboratively to drive sustainable change.

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“We must rethink health care delivery, build resilient and more equitable health systems, and move to net-zero emissions; no company, government or organization can do this alone; we must work together at pace and at scale,” says AstraZeneca.

Specifically, the Anglo-Saxon pharmaceutical company has a program called Ambition Zero Carbon, which affects the decarbonization process in the value chain. The company hopes to reduce emissions from its global operations and fleets by 98% by 2026. In addition, the group is working to reduce the carbon footprint of its respiratory inhalers.

Another example is found in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Led by Emma Walmsley, its CEO, the company aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2030 and 90% by 2045. The British pharmaceutical company confirms that it will invest between 2020 and 2030 billion pounds to achieve its sustainability goals.

newly, GSK has announced that it will begin phase three testing of a low-carbon version of its metered dose inhaler. (MDI), Ventolin (salbutamol), using a new propellant. The first patients are scheduled to be dosed in the first half of 2024. If successful, regulatory submissions will begin in 2025.