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20th January 2023

MPs urged to join CMO briefing on climate action to protect health and reduce strain on NHS

The CMO climate lead will brief MPs on climate action to protect health and reduce strain on the NHS

Chair of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, Richard Smith, has called on MPs of all parties to attend a special online briefing (10.30-11.30 Tuesday 7 February) on the health impacts of the climate crisis.

In the letter, Dr Smith highlighted the deep concern among health professionals about the impact the burning of fossil fuels is having on human health and the pressure this is putting on our stretched health service.

Recognising how hard it can be to keep up to date with the latest evidence, he said that, as elected representatives, MPs have a duty to act in the public interest with objectivity, and “to take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit using the best evidence and without discrimination”. This can only be achieved with a good understanding about how the climate and ecological crisis impacts on health, what needs to be done to move away from using fossil fuels, and the important health benefits that will come from taking action now.

This briefing follows last year’s climate briefing by then chief science advisor Sir Patrick Vallance, and as before, it will be hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change.

It will be led by the UK’s lead chief medical officer on climate, Professor Sir Gregor Smith, with presentations from Professor Sir Andy Haines from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah whose daughter Ella died 10 years ago this month due to air pollution, and climate scientist Professor Kevin Anderson from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Together they will set out the latest evidence and actions needed to protect health and reduce the strain on the NHS, enabling MPs to take the decisive actions needed to protect human and planetary health. The briefing will include a Question and Answer session.

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