Papua New Guinea Minister for Heath Dr Lino Tom has warned that the very idea of ‘health for all’ is under threat from climate change.

Dr Lino delivered the statement on behalf of 22 Pacific Island countries, at the opening of the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Pacific Island Countries are responsible for less than one percent of global emissions, but we are on the frontline of the climate crisis,” he said.

“We must face these challenges and do everything we can to mitigate climate change, now.”

Minister Tom urged delegates at the World Health Assembly to lead by example and address the environmental impact of the health sector, which is currently responsible for around 5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

“Climate change is the biggest health threat of the 21st century. If we are genuinely committed to health for all, we must act decisively, collectively, and immediately – to protect our health and the health of future generations,” he said.