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13th May 2024

David Pencheon becomes an ambassador for UKHACC

UK Health Alliance on Climate Change welcomes a new ambassador.

David Pencheon has been appointed as an ambassador for the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change. David was the founder director of the Sustainable Development Unit for NHS England and Public Health England, which was established in 2007, and has now grown into the Greener NHS.

On accepting the role, David said, “The climate and nature crisis is the biggest threat to everyone’s health whether they are rich or poor. It’s an honour to serve as an ambassador for UKHACC and the thousands of health professionals whose organisations are committed to a healthy, fair and sustainable future. 

“Nurses, doctors, and other health professionals are amongst the most trusted members of society, which helps us exercise our duty of care to patients, the public, and the future. Living in every community in the lands and with networks stretching across the planet, we have a profound duty to act together, especially as most actions that address the climate and nature crisis give both immediate and long term health benefits, as well as creating a world we can be proud to pass onto future generations.”

David is an Honorary Professor and an Associate at the Medical and Health School at the University of Exeter and an Honorary Fellow in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He is also a commissioner on the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. He has held appointments at University College London (UCL) and is a visiting professor at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Sydney, and an adjunct professor at Monash University in Melbourne and Notre Dame University in Sydney.

UKHACC Chair, Richard Smith said: “We are delighted to have David Pencheon as an ambassador. It was David’s leadership of the Sustainable Development Unit that made the Greener NHS Programme, a world leader, possible. David travelled around the NHS promoting sustainability with a smile when many health leaders didn’t know what he was talking about. On the shoulders of giants…”

David joins our existing ambassadors: Fiona Godlee, Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, and Robin Stott in supporting the core aims of the alliance to increase knowledge and understanding of the links between climate change and health, empower health professionals to advocate for better responses to the climate and ecological crisis and influence change by encouraging decision makers to strengthen policies that protect the public from the impacts of climate change and nature loss.