Earlier this month, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the latest sixth assessment report, which focused on the Mitigation of Climate Change, stating that “without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5C is beyond reach”.
The report calls for stronger, immediate action and outlines how emission cuts could be achieved stating that, overall, the economy would benefit from limiting global warming. Substantial reductions in fossil fuel use, energy efficient, electrification, the rapid uptake of low-emission energy sources, and the use of alternative energy carriers such as hydrogen are outlined as ways emission reductions could be achieved.
Carbon Brief has produced a comprehensive Q&A that provides information on a number of aspects of the report that are of interest from a health perspective including the impact of the food system and dietary choices, cities, buildings and transport, climate policies and sustainable development goals.
Have your say
Environment Targets and Nature Recovery Green Paper
The Government Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published their Consultation on environmental targets on 16 March 2022. The view of UK Health Alliance on Climate Change is that the target of 10mcg/m3 by 2040 lacks ambition and is not strong enough to achieve healthy air for all – evidence suggests that with existing and in the pipeline policies already in place, the 10cmg/m3 target could be achieved by 2030. Air pollution is a health emergency the government must act on. We don’t have time to delay until 2040. We must take steps to reduce levels now and set proper legal targets for 2030.
Asthma+Lung UK have launched a toolkit to collate your views to the consultation. Ensure your voice is heard on the need for quicker action to tackle air pollution by completing this Environment Act consultation tool
NHS Long Term Plan Update
The NHS Long Term Plan was first published in 2019 with the core purpose that “as medicine advances, health needs change and society develops, so the NHS has to continually move forward.”
A commitment to deliver a net zero health service by 2040 is not yet recognised within the NHS Long Term Plan, nor does the plan integrate targets across key areas that would guide the NHS to realise this ambition and its significant health benefits. However, there is an opportunity to amend this through an update to the plan which is currently underway.
If you or your organisation are submitting input to the plan, please consider calling for the NHS net zero commitment to be included in the update.
GMC Good Medical Practice
The GMC is currently reviewing its core guidance – Good Medical Practice. As part of the review process, the GMC intend to speak to healthcare organisations across the UK and run a public consultation to gather the views of patients, medical professionals and healthcare experts. Further information about the review can be found here: https://www.gmc-uk.org/ethical-guidance/good-medical-practice-review
You can sign up to find out more and be kept up to date via the GMC Good medical Practice Community of Interest sign up group: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/GMPreview/
Multiple reports have made clear that a just transition away from fossil fuels is urgently needed. Expanding reliance on domestic production of gas and oil is slow to achieve – the time to delivering new product will be a decade or more away – and does nothing to alleviate fuel poverty in the UK as it is sold into the international market.
We encourage health professionals concerned about the climate emergency and rising energy bills to speak out against oil field expansion, and to urge their MPs to oppose new oil fields and to support a rapid switch to renewable energy, focus on improved energy efficiency in our homes, and a just transition.
You may wish to call on your MP to support these actions through the #StopJackdaw campaign.
Glove Awareness Week 2022 – 2-6 May 2022
Glove Awareness Week focuses on encouraging nursing staff – and medical and health care professionals – to make one change to reduce their unnecessary glove use and help make healthcare more sustainable.
Please do get involved and help promote the benefits of safely reducing unnecessary glove use to help make healthcare more sustainable. The Royal College of Nursing has produced a toolkit including social media graphics, draft social media posts and other assets you may find useful to let your audience know the week is happening and how they can get involved: https://www.rcn.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/GAW-stakeholder-pack
During Glove Awareness Week, they will also have a new animation which highlights the impact unnecessary glove use has on the environment. Please look out for this and share it on social media once it is live – we’ll be tweeting from @UKHealthClimate
Ride for Their Lives 2022
Ride for Their Lives 2022 was launched on World health Day on 7 April 2022. The ride will build to a first event in Geneva at the World Health Assembly 22-28 May and ends with COP27 in November 2022. Groups of paediatric and/or neonatal healthcare providers – and other healthcare providers – from at least two different hospitals or healthcare settings to organise a cycle, walk or run from one institution to the other institution(s) over one day. At the end of your day, they would like you to record (video or audio) a discussion following a three pillars strategy – improve, educate, advocate – around the topics of air quality, the benefits of active travel and healthy cities.
The team will collate the campaigns and the recordings into an Inspiration Hub, to be launched in the summer of 2022 as well as a narrative report which will form part of an international PR campaign to the healthcare and mainstream media.
Please complete this form or email email@example.com to book a call for further details. Full details of the campaign can be found in the invitation to join document and you can join a ride here.
Get ready to reclaim streets for kids!
Are you passionate about fighting for cleaner air? Do you want more (or better) school streets? On 6 May please join the biggest European mobilisation for school streets in which people all over Europe will take to the streets calling for #StreetsforKids! You can register your own event on the Clean Cities website
Head of Global Net Zero Healthcare
NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently recruiting for a Head of Global Net Zero Healthcare, to lead across the NHS’ international work on net zero health care. This is a senior leadership role within the Greener NHS team, designed for an individual capable and interested in driving and delivering a rapid transition to low-carbon healthcare across the whole system and internationally. They are seeking a highly motivated, and well qualified professional to develop the team and the programme of work and lead all activities of the collaboration.
Further information is available here: https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/vacancy/917148802
McCall MacBain Clean Air Fellowship
The Clean Air Fund and the University of Birmingham, with the support of the McCall MacBain Foundation, have launched the McCall MacBain Clean Air Fellowship, to help grow the next generation of leaders for the clean air movement. The fellowship will be awarded to four exceptional students, two from the UK and two from Central and Eastern Europe, to study for an MSc in Air Pollution Management and Control at the University of Birmingham.
The Air Pollution Management and Control MSc, which is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Institute of Air Quality Management, is the only MSc of its kind in the UK. The course has been designed to give a comprehensive understanding of the causes and effects of air pollution, and management measures available for its control.
In addition to payment of course fees and a stipend to cover living and travel costs, fellows will benefit from a tailored programme of masterclasses and career development opportunities such as practical experience and networking facilitated by the University and Clean Air Fund.
The deadline for applications is Friday June 3, 2022. For more information and to apply, please see the University of Birmingham’s website.
Climate Ambassador Programme
Climate Outreach has announced the return of its Climate Ambassador programme. In 2021, 60 UK-based researchers across a range of climate-related disciplines were trained on how to talk about their work with wider audiences, beyond academics. These new and diverse voices from across the climate research community went on to speak at over 50 public-facing events in the lead up to and at COP26.
This year’s programme, with support from the Marmot Charitable Trust, will take place at the Cabot Institute for the Environment, University of Bristol on 13 May, Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds on 26 May, and the Walker Institute, University of Reading on 10 June.
Places for these workshops are very limited, however, do express your interest if you’d like to be kept updated on places as well as the resources produced as part of the programme.
Fairness and the cost of net zero
11.00-12.00 | Tuesday 26 April | online
This timely webinar will be an opportunity to discuss the recommendations for net zero communication with Conservative leaning Britain Talks Climate (BTC) segments, the role of fairness in public engagement strategies and the implications of continuing energy price rises for net zero support. The webinar will present the results from a survey and workshops with selected BTC segments completed between January and February 2022. If you can’t attend the live event, you can have the recording of the event sent to you. Further details here: https://records.climateoutreach.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=166
Climate Change and Health Inequalities Conference
9.00-17.00 | Friday 20 May 2022 | Milton Keynes (in person)
Milton Keynes University Hospital in collaboration with BAPIO (British association of Physicians of Indian Origin) Women’s Forum is holding a national conference on Climate change and Health inequalities.
COP26 Legacy Series: Building our COP26 legacy with eyes on COP27
18.00-19.30 | Thursday 26 May | online
The final webinar in the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh’s COP26 legacy series will examine what needs to happen so that clinical practice is delivered in a climate sensitive and adaptive manner, and the power of international and local partnerships to bring about change. The webinar is free to attend and open to all. Further details are available here: https://events.rcpe.ac.uk/cop26-legacy-series-building-our-cop26-legacy-eyes-cop27
Achieving net zero conference London
07-08 June 2022 | The Science Museum, London
This free two day conference organised by CBI will provide insights into how the UK’s net zero strategy must adapt in the current global economic context, hear practical advice from decarbonisation experts, and contributions from company leaders and policy makers.
Further details here: https://www.cbi.org.uk/events/conference-series-achieving-net-zero-2022/
Articles and videos
We’ve pulled together a list of recent articles and videos that are worth reading, watching and sharing.
This BMJ article reports on confirmation by the chief scientific officer, Patrick Vallance, that MPs will be briefed on the climate crisis. The decision was made four days after senior health professionals, including the current and former editors in chief of BMJ, wrote to the prime minister urging him to commit to a briefing. A man, who had been on hunger strike for more than five weeks outside the UK parliament ended his hunger strike following the announcement.
In this BMJ article, medical student and UKHACC Executive Committee member, Rhiannon Osborne asks the health community – what are you doing to resist the worst health crisis of our times? And calls on all of us to do what we can to resist the UK’s expansion of oil and gas.
In this blog, UKHACC Chair Richard Smith says why health professionals need to make their voices more prominent in the debate about climate change.
This Lancet paper provides further evidence that high-income nations are the primary drivers of global ecological breakdown and need to urgently reduce their resource use to fair and sustainable levels.
This article in the Journal of Climate Change and Health asks if the COP26 health commitments are a springboard towards environmentally sustainable and climate resilient health systems.
One year since the coroner Philip Barlow published the Prevention of Future Deaths Report following the landmark ruling that air pollution contributed to nine year –old Ella Adoo Kissi Debrah’s death from severe asthma, in this recording Rosamund Adoo Kissi Debrah, Sir Stephen Holgate, Professor Frank Kelly and Guy Mitchell discuss the report in the light of the government’s public consultation on UK air quality targets.
What is a fair energy transition? This report by Climate Outreach summarises the findings of asking 900 economically vulnerable people in 9 EU countries.These are the initial findings of the ‘Fair Energy Transition for All’ multi-partner project spearheaded by the King Baudouin Foundation, which is providing EU policymakers advice on how to take into account the diversity of needs across the EU.
The Climate and Health Alliance has released a handy 20-page summary of the latest IPCC report, to help you make sense of what the findings mean for our physical and mental health.
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