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18th August 2023

UKHACC Bulletin August 2023

The August edition of the UKHACC bulletin with latest news, opportunities to get involved and have your say, events and reports

As we write this, more than 100 people have been reported to have lost their lives during wildfires that have devastated the island of Maui, Hawaii over the last week. A further 1,300 people are missing. Severe drought conditions combined with strong winds brought on by a category 5 hurricane located several hundred miles off the coast are likely to have contributed to the speed and ferocity of the fires that have taken so many lives. In Mexico, at least 100 people were reported to have died within the space of two weeks in June due to extreme temperatures soaring above 50C in many parts of the country. July was the hottest month and 2023 is set to be the hottest year on record.  United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres recently called this the beginning of the ‘global boiling’ era. In June this year, it was reported that ambient air pollution is now the largest environmental cause of mortality in Europe, contributing to 350,000 deaths. 

These impacts of global heating, extreme weather events, and pollution will continue to worsen without significant and urgent action. Certain groups are more vulnerable – including infants, pregnant women, elderly, people with comorbidities and outdoor workers. Despite repeated calls, we are not yet seeing the urgency or the level of action that is needed to implement change. It is critical that health professionals continue to raise awareness, advocate for action on climate and nature to protect health, and show the leadership that is needed. There are many suggestions in this newsletter where you can make sure your voice is heard.

News and updates

Young Montana group wins lawsuit against fossil fuels

In Montana, US a group of young people aged between 5 and 22 have won a legal challenge that claimed the absence of consideration for emissions and climate impact in the Montana Environmental Policy Act and proposed fossil fuel projects was infringing the right to a clean and healthy environment.

29 health leaders call on PM to withdraw new oil and gas licences

Health leaders from across UKHACC membership organisations have written to the Prime Minister to call on him to withdraw the decision to issue new licences for oil and gas projects in the North Sea. Following the announcement, we warned of the risk to health and nature, and our ambitions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Greater London ULEZ expansion will go ahead

Following a challenge by five London councils, the High Court ruled the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone is lawful. The decision means that the planned expansion will go ahead as planned on 29 August. Dr Anna Moore, a member of our climate and health spokesperson network quoted in the linked article said the decision would improve the health of millions of Londeners.

Environment charities warn Scottish political leaders of lack of urgency

The heads of 25 environmental and conservation charities in Scotland have written to “all Scottish party leaders” calling for legal targets for nature restoration and a biodiversity strategy to reverse nature loss, as well as reforms to marine protection and funding for agriculture and forestry. In the letter they warn that political leaders are currently not responding with the urgency required.

Have your say

ClientEarth petition to UK government

ClientEarth is seeking signatures for action to tell the UK government that new fossil fuel developments are incompatible with net zero emissions by 2050. You can add your support here.

Royal Society Fossil Fuel Letter

A group of academics have called on the Royal Society to demonstrate better leadership in explicitly condemning the proliferation of fossil fuels and the harm associated with it. We need a unanimous and unambiguous stance from organisations against fossil fuels for better health of humans, the environment and the planet. You can sign the open letter by filling this form.

Human Rights Bill (Scotland): Right to a healthy environment

The Scottish Government has opened a consultation on a Human Rights Bill, which will incorporate a range of rights into Scots law for the first time. One of the proposals being considered is the inclusion of the right to a health environment. Inclusion in the Bill would place the environment at the heart of government decisions and help to deliver a safer climate, healthier ecosystems, and lower pollution. The consultation closes on 5 October 2023. Have your say here.

Nature 2030

UKHACC has joined the Wildlife and Countryside LINK and a number of other partners on the  Nature 2030 campaign which calls for 5 key actions from politicians in the next general election to ensure the government fulfils its pledge to manage 30% of the UK’s land and sea for nature, and hits its legally-binding target to halt wildlife decline by 2030. You can support the Nature 2030 campaign by adding your name to this open letter which calls on political parties to commit to more radical nature plans.

Write to party leaders regarding inaction on air pollution

A new campaign by Mums for Lungs raises concern about the lack of urgent action by political leaders on the climate crisis and air pollution, which is not in alignment with the UK’s climate commitments. A template has been produced to enable you to write to Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak to highlight your concerns.

Opportunities/Get involved

Zinc Venture Builder – Health & Environment

Zinc is looking to invest in 70 individuals who want to build a new startup from scratch that tackles the harmful impacts of chemical pollution, climate change, and biological hazards on our health and wellbeing. The focus is on areas like food systems, water security, air quality and built/urban environments. The venture-builder starts in October 2023, and is a full-time commitment where individuals will meet with one or more co-founder(s), receive up to £250k in early funding, and gain access to mentorship and support from experts, coaches, investors, and Zinc’s in-house team. Further details can be found here. 

Art to Save the Planet: #CreateCOP prize

The #CreateCOP prize is open to applicants, providing a platform for creatives to be seen and heard – especially members of marginalised communities, highlighting the unique ways in which they view the perils of climate change. The competition aims to help connect the dots for positive change by creating links between people, platforms, businesses, governments and organisations around the world.

Sustainable transport campaign and research manager

Possible is recruiting a campaign manager to lead three research projects that will explore how achieving big reductions in motor traffic needed to mitigate climate change targets can also dramatically improve health outcomes and quality of life, particularly those who are most marginalised. Find out more here

Let’s Not Waste: Submit your ideas and successes on waste reduction

The Let’s Not Waste – Bevan Commission is seeking ideas and successes on waste reduction practices and initiatives in health and social care. Waste reduction case studies and resources collated will be showcased on the soon to be launched Let’s Not Waste webpage with the goal of being a hub open for all to access. You can share any ideas and innovations by emailing 

Courses and events


Carbon Literacy 

In partnership with the Carbon Literacy Project and E-learning for Healthcare, Greener NHS has developed a new training programme suitable for anyone working in the NHS, but particularly suited to aspiring or new green champions/sustainability staff. The eLearning component is always free to NHS staff; Greener NHS has also funded 120 workshop places which will be delivered by a training provider. Training involves two steps:


6 September 2023 12.00-13.30 | Online

Climate and health communications: influencing public health organisations

Have you ever found it hard to convince your organisation to prioritise sustainability and climate/environmental change? Hear from others how they did and what they learned along the way in this Faculty of Public Health webinar on communicating and influencing on climate and health within our public health workplaces. Further details available here. 

7 September 12.30-13.30 | Online

In-Conversation with Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee

In the first of a new series of lunchtime sessions by UKHACC and BMJ, UKHACC Chair Dr Richard Smith, will interview Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee of the Committee on Climate Change, about the lack of progress in climate adaptation, what needs to happen and what role the health sector can play in influencing policy and change. Attendees are invited to submit questions prior to the event. Click here to register and submit your questions.

8 September 2023 | Hybrid – Birmingham/Online

IPC Route to Net Zero

The Infection Prevention Society ‘Route to Net Zero’ event to enable faster progress in sustainable healthcare. Key topics include Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, Science of Sustainability, NHS Supply Chain Sustainability, and Green Surgery Report. More information and registration link can be found here. 

9-10 September 2023 | Imperial College, London

VegMed London 2023

VegMed London 2023 is a collaboration between Plant-Based Health Professionals UK and PAN International – Physicians Association for Nutrition, and supported by ProVeg International, with the overarching theme of ‘Bringing plant-based nutrition into healthcare’. The conference will bring together health professionals, scientists, researchers and policy makers committed to supporting the transition to a plant-based food system. Click here for more information and to book your tickets.

4 October 2023 18.00-19.00 | Online (Free)

President’s Webinar: Climate Change and Sustainability in Healthcare

This Royal College Of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow webinar will provide practical hints and tips on how to design and deliver more environmentally sustainable healthcare. There will also be a Trainee Sustainable Healthcare Competition for which the deadline for abstract submission is 20 September. Further information and registration link can be found here. 

10 October 2023 | BMA House, London and Online [Hybrid event]

Net Zero Clinical Care Conference

To support our clinical colleagues across the NHS through the upcoming junior doctors industrial action, the BMJ and UKHACC have made the difficult decision to postpone the net zero clinical care conference from 14 July to 10 October 2023. All those who had previously registered to attend on 14 July have been sent an email confirming their registration for the 10 October. Anyone who has not yet registered can join virtually or be added to a waiting list to attend in person. Further details are available here.

12 October 2023 12.00-13.00 | Online

Schwartz Round: Health in the Climate and Ecological Emergency

UKHACC has joined with the Point of Care Foundation to host an online Schwartz Round which will engage and reflect with healthcare staff about their place and emotions in the climate and ecological emergency in order to build engagement and capacity for change. Sign up here.

21-22 October 2023 | Hybrid – New York, USA

Climate and Health Conference 2023

The conference is being organised to bring attention to the importance of climate change from a human health standpoint and build connections within the health community prior to COP28. Further details can be found here. 

Multiple dates

Greening transport in your area

Low Traffic Future are running a series of workshops in Birmingham, Bristol, York, London and Manchester to provide information on how to get involved in activity to press for a low traffic future in your area, meet others with similar interests, and engage with your council. Find out more here.

New resources

Reclaiming health activism in the age of the climate crisis: A guide by Healthcare Without Harm

Healthcare Without Harm has recently published an excellent campaign and advocacy guide. It is a powerful resource for health care professionals that want to harness their expertise and credibility as trusted voices to drive climate policy changes at local, national, and global levels. The full and abridged version of the guidance document can be found here. 

The Wildlife Trusts’ Natural Health Service

Evidence shows that a thriving, wildlife-rich environment benefits people’s physical and mental health. People with nature on their doorstep are more active, mentally resilient and have better all-round health. A new report from the Wildlife Trusts has taken an independent economic analysis which found that green prescribing has the potential to deliver cost saving benefits to the NHS in a cost-effective way.

Reports, articles and videos

We’ve pulled together a list of recent reports, articles and videos worth reading, watching and sharing.

Please share

Please share this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested. Anyone can sign up to receive this newsletter by clicking this link:

If you’ve got information about resources, campaigns, or events you would like to be included in the next edition, please send them to The next bulletin will be published on 15 September 2023.