Patricia Schwerdtle is a former board member of Médecins Sans Frontières Australia. Her research is focused on climate change and health; looking specifically at how and why people move in response to climate change and the implications for their health. Patricia explains why MSF needs to be present in this global forum; to advocate to decision-makers for greater support for people in need due to the climate crisis.
MSF's participation in COP27
"MSF needs to be present at COP27 because decisions made at COP have significant implications for the people and communities MSF serves. MSF’s absence would also send a clear and undesirable message."
"The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report (AR6) explicitly outlines how climate change contributes to humanitarian crises, significantly compromises global health, pushes people into poverty, and exacerbates food and water crises – MSF has deep experience in all of these issues."
"At MSF, we feel we have a duty to observe the negotiations and to ensure humanitarian perspectives are included. The value we bring is our independent and needs-based philosophy and our proximity to people and communities who are paying the highest costs for climate change, and who are also least responsible."
MSF's focus on Planetary Health
"MSF’s mandate has not changed. It is evolving to a rapidly changing world and remaining relevant. Human activity is breaching planetary health boundaries upon which human health and the stability of our ecosystems, societies, and economies rely."