The Commonwealth Secretariat and global health non-profit PATH today announced a new accelerator to fast-track the development of promising innovations that address the extreme effects of climate change on health systems and the health of communities across the 56 Commonwealth countries.
The Accelerator for Resilience in Climate and Health is an end-to-end platform that sources, deploys, finances and scales innovations that help public health systems and communities mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The global accelerator has built a strong pipeline of 127 climate and health innovations, with more than 20 high-impact solutions ready to be deployed in Commonwealth countries.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, and PATH’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nikolaj Gilbert, announced the accelerator at an event held during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.
Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said:
“This initiative could not be more important. Climate change is the greatest health threat facing humanity, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and billions in direct health costs. The absence of proven solutions which governments can scale for population-level impact means that tangible action is sparse.
“It is crucial for innovators to bring fresh ideas, rapidly develop solutions and drive implementation for large-scale impact. To support them, we are proud to launch our accelerator programme with PATH. Our work together will kick-start the creation of a global ecosystem of readily deployable climate-health innovations, designed to improve the well-being of 2.5 billion Commonwealth citizens.”
The accelerator will issue regular calls for innovators with promising climate and health projects to join the programme.
Accepted innovators will gain access to policymakers and on-the-ground operations support in Commonwealth countries as well as technical and financial assistance to deploy and scale up their innovations.
The accelerator will also be open to support from donors interested in investing in government-backed high-impact solutions.
Speaking at the event, PATH CEO Nikolaj Gilbert, said:
“The threat climate change poses to health is universal, but it disproportionately affects vulnerable countries and worsens existing inequalities. The accelerator will back climate and health innovations that help countries build climate-resilient, sustainable health systems and strengthen communities.
“PATH envisions a future where innovative approaches play a pivotal role in addressing climate-related health issues.”
The accelerator contributes to the objectives outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding between the Commonwealth Secretariat and PATH, signed in March 2022.
- Snober Abbasi Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
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