Document Type: Commentary
Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
Law and Development Research Group, Faculty of Law, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Solomon Benatar’s paper “Politics, Power, Poverty and Global Health: Systems and Frames” examines the inequitable state of global health challenging readers to extend the discourse on global health beyond conventional boundaries by addressing the interconnectedness of planetary life. Our response explores existing models of international cooperation, assessing how modifying them may achieve the twin goals of ensuring healthy people and planet. First, we address why the inequality reducing post World War II European welfare model, if implemented stateby-state, is unfit for reducing global inequality and respecting environmental boundaries. Second, we argue that to advance beyond the ‘Westphalian,’ human centric thinking integral to global inequality and climate change requires challenging the logic of global economic integration and exploring the politically infeasible. In conclusion, we propose social policy focused changes to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and a Green and Social Climate Fund, financed by new global greenhouse gas charges, both of which could advance human and planetary health. Recent global political developments may offer a small window of opportunity for out of the box proposals that could be advanced by concerted and united advocacy by global health activists, environmental activists, human rights activists, and trade unions.