Forecasting Healthy Futures Hosts Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan Ahead of COP29, Elevating Health on the Climate Agenda

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 20, 2024 - This week, amidst growing concerns about the impacts of climate change on human health and ahead of COP29, Forecasting Healthy Futures hosted its 2nd annual Global Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Global Summit offered a critical opportunity to facilitate discussions amongst local and global stakeholders in climate and health, bringing together—in Baku and virtually— a diverse group of nearly 270 leaders representing 200 organizations and more than 45 countries, from government, private sector, NGOs, global finance institutions, higher education and COP29. This year's Summit was intended to feature insights and updates on adaptation innovations from a variety of fields and disciplines, examine our progress making climate financing more readily available where needed, and explore ways we can collectively increase our impact through strategic communications and targeted advocacy.  

Forecasting Healthy Futures is a global consortium of organizations committed to protecting global health gains from the impact of climate change. Since 2020, FHF has worked collaboratively to drive innovation and investment in new strategies to build climate resilience in the world’s most vulnerable countries. This year’s Global Summit was generously sponsored by FHF founding consortium member Reaching the Last Mile, along with AWS, PSI and Malaria No More.

The Summit’s keynotes and panels included senior representatives from the COP26, COP27, COP28, COP29, and COP30 planning teams, as well as the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Global Fund, the Ministry of Health for the Republic of Azerbaijan, along with dozens of climate and health experts from NGOs and academia.

“Amidst challenges are opportunities for innovation, adaptation, and resilience,” said Yalchin Rafiyev, Deputy Foreign Minister for the Republic of Azerbaijan and Lead Negotiator for COP29. “By using the power of collaboration, science, and policy we can chart a course towards a healthier, more sustainable future for all.”

“We must continue building the political momentum to scale climate and health action. We need to ensure that the momentum is translated into tangible action and outcomes for communities on the frontline. I'm glad to see that since COP28, I've seen some incredible groundswell of support for climate and health,” said Majid Al-Suwaidi, Director General of COP28, who joined the inaugural Forecasting Healthy Futures Summit in 2023 in Abu Dhabi to announce COP28’s plan for a Health Day.

“Without coordinated effort from governments, industry and society, the climate crisis will only worsen,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General. “WHO is working with partners around the world to address the health impacts of climate change. This includes building more resilient systems and supporting the workforce, which will come with increasing climate-related health talks.”

Sessions throughout the 3-day Summit covered:

  • Climate Financing for Health
  • Climate Change & Mental Health
  • Loss & Damages Considerations for COP29
  • Building a Climate-Resilient Workforce
  • Climate-sensitive Disease

“I think the health argument for climate action is stronger than ever,” said Dr. Maria Neira, Director, Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization (WHO). “We have the community, at large, very much mobilized… [and] a clear definition of the interventions that we need to put in place.”

“The effects of climate change are being felt today and are disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable communities in every country,” said Dr. Marina Romanello, Executive Director of the Lancet Countdown for Climate and Health Action. “Urgent mitigation is imperative to ensure climate-related health hazards don’t exceed the capacity of the health-supporting systems to adapt.”

“We must recognize that climate change is fundamentally about people, not only who are impacted but who are on our frontline of defense,” Dr. Vanessa Kerry, CEO, Seed Global Health and WHO Special Envoy for Climate Change. “People are pivotal to safeguarding our health and our best adaptation to climate change.”

“We need to keep people at the heart of climate investments in action,” said Tamer Rabie, Global Program Lead for Climate and Health, World Bank. “It's about how we can save lives and how we can protect people from not falling into poverty.

“We won't succeed in beating HIV, TB and malaria if we don't respond to the impact of climate change on health,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director, Global Fund. “That's most obvious with malaria. We've already seen the epidemiology of malaria, like other vector-borne diseases, changing quite rapidly.

“Climate change has the potential to unravel decades of progress in global health and development,” said Tala Al Ramahi, Chief Strategy Officer, Reaching the Last Mile. “COP29 is a critical next step in ensuring we can deliver the sustained financing and cooperation we need to protect and progress health gains in a warming world. The time to act is now.”

Bringing health into the climate discourse helps to provide a truer understanding of the impacts of global warming and encourages policymakers to consider the more immediate and more human implications of their decisions,” said Kelly Willis, Lead, Forecasting Healthy Futures. “We know that the Summit will help advance strategies to protect health from global warming, and we hope it can also generate a new level of ambition around climate action more broadly. Ahead of COP29, Azerbaijan has an opportunity to lead by example, and drive progress toward including health in all aspects of climate policy.

“There are a lot of ways to assess whether an issue is breaking through as a political
priority. I would argue that the best measure is if we’re spending money on it,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More (Malaria No More hosts the Forecasting Healthy Futures Consortium). “By that measure, we’re a long way from our goals on climate and health.”


Photos from the Forecasting Healthy Futures Global Summit can be found here

NOTE: About Forecasting Healthy Futures

Forecasting Healthy Futures is a global coalition of leading organizations committed to mobilizing the political will, financial resources, and innovative solutions needed to protect global health gains from the threats posed by climate change.

For more details:



We’d love to hear from you. Please use this form to send us a message.

Your message has been successfully sent.
Oops! Something went wrong.
FHF Logo _ Primary Transparent Alternate

Website powered by