Climate Opportunities & Partnerships

Middle East & Africa


How to Be a Good Climate Mayor? Think Health

Local policy makers want to fight climate change. The World Health Organization has advice

Jul 27, 2022 / 2 Min
Photo: Nancy Bourque

How can mayors who want to make their cities healthier, cleaner places overcome barriers to change? At a meeting of 16 global mayors convened in London by the climate-focused leadership group C40 Cities this week, Dr. Maria Neira, the World Health Organization’s director for public and environmental health, outlined six “prescriptions”, as reported by Bloomberg. Here are three we find most important.


1. Talk to the health community and always use the health argument. “Call doctors. Call pediatricians’ associations and respiratory health associations…they are very eager to support you and to mobilize the population to realize that climate action is very good for their health.” Plus, she said, the general public is arguably more interested in medical matters than ever.


2. Prove that your actions are paying off. It’s essential to monitor and quantify the benefits of any policies you adopt to reduce pollution. London published a report noting that pollution-related hospital admissions for children under 14 dropped 30% in the 2017-2019.


3. Share experiences. Develop networks to compare notes and approaches with organizations such as the WHO and with other cities.