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15th December 2023

UKHACC Bulletin December 2023

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

COP28 in Dubai was historical in many ways. The first-ever health day led to the signing of the climate and health declaration by over 140 countries. The final UAE consensus mentions transitioning away from fossil fuels but falls short of clearly mentioning “phasing out”. Reaching net zero targeting without phasing out fossil fuels and through innovative carbon capture technologies would have minimal health benefits. This is why the health community must continue to advocate for the full phase-out of fossil fuels and a just transition to renewable sources of energy. 

Amidst all the ministerial dialogues and the festive season being here, if you are wondering what you can do, we have compiled a list of New Year’s resolutions that you can do to improve planetary health. 

Wishing you a Happy New Year from the UKHACC team!

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News and updates

Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: UK Policy Brief

The 2023 policy brief for the UK has key information and recommendations on fossil fuels, urban green and blue spaces, and food systems. The policy brief can be accessed from here. 

NHS Net Zero Supplier Roadmap: Updated Guidance

Updated guidance on the application of Carbon Reduction Plans (CRPs) and Net Zero Commitments (NZC) for NHS commercial teams and suppliers has now been published. These guidelines will help ensure the NHS supply chain plays a crucial part in ensuring the NHS becomes a net zero health service by 2045. More details are available here. 

NHS Net Zero travel and transport strategyThe NHS England has published a travel and transport strategy that will help fully decarbonise its fleet by 2035 and its ambulances by 2040. The strategy can be read here.

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Have your say

Petition: Calling on WHO to declare climate & nature crisis as a global health emergency

Following the publication of an editorial in  300 health journals globally, coordinated by the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, a petition has been launched to strengthen the call on the WHO to declare the climate and nature crisis as a global health emergency. You can sign the petition here to show your support leading to the World Health Assembly in May 2024. Please also share it through your networks.

Open Letter: For people, nature and climate 

The Climate Coalition has launched an open letter for community groups that calls on party leaders to commit to meeting our national and international commitments to tackle the climate and nature crises. Sign the letter here. 

Petition: To take the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill through the House of Commons

This petition has been co-created by Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah (The mother of Ella Roberta who passed away at a very young age because of air pollution). This Bill has been agreed upon by the House of Lords with cross-party support and we want the Government to find time to take it through the House of Commons so that it can become law. Sign here. 

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Opportunities/Get involved

Clean Air Night 

Global Action Plan – the organisers of Clean Air Day – have launched a new sister campaign, Clean Air Night, which will take place on 24 January to shine a light on the uncomfortable truths about wood burning. Lighting fires in our homes is the largest source of harmful small particulate matter air pollution in the UK, but most people don’t know that wood burning is bad for our health. If you are interested in taking part in the first Clean Air Night and receiving free resources to help educate the public about the harms of wood burning, please register your interest here.

The Academic Health Institutions’ Declaration on Planetary Health

The declaration states that the health of the planet is a Code Red emergency and calls for immediate implementation of planetary health education and research, and the transition to climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems to build a healthy, sustainable, and just future for all. The full declaration access and signing on can be done here.

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Courses and Events

COURSES

Sustainability Leadership for Greener Health and Care Programme

This free programme for public sector health and care staff is designed to develop leadership abilities and equip them with tools and knowledge to build a greener and more sustainable health system. More information can be found here

EVENTS: EXTERNAL

4-7 February 2024 | Online

CAFE Climate and Health Annual Conference

The NIH Climate & Health Research Coordinating Center (CAFÉ) led by Boston University and Harvard University is organising this unique event that brings together researchers, policymakers, industry, and community representatives working at the intersection of climate and health. Register here. 

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New resources

Report: Red Alert – Developing a Human-centred National Heat Resilience Strategy

This new report by the Physiological Society and Faculty of Public Health calls for the formation of a Heat Resilience Strategy that is focused on improving the understanding of how heat impacts vulnerable groups and improving the preparedness of the nation to deal with extreme temperatures. The report can be accessed here. 

Report: Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK

The UK Health Security Agency has published the very first Health Effects of Climate Change (HECC) in the UK report. The report assimilates the latest evidence on how the changing climate is already impacting the nation’s health and future projections based on a plausible worst-case scenario. The report is available here. 

Report: Delivering greener, more sustainable and net zero mental health care

Recently launched by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, this report provides guidance on delivering greener, more sustainable and net zero mental health care. Further details can be found here. 

Nursing Toolkit for Planetary Health

This toolkit provides nurses (and other health professionals) with basic information about planetary health and guides them in integrating this into practice primarily within the hospital at the level of patient care, at the ward level or hospital-wide. More details can be found here. 

Guidance Document: Education for sustainable healthcare

Developed in collaboration with advisors from the four UK nations, this guidance document will support future allied health professionals to understand the relationship between health and the environment, to deliver sustainable healthcare and be advocates for environmental sustainability. The document can be found here

Report: COP15 one year on – where are we now? 

This report by the Wildlife and Countryside Link looks at the extent of policy building blocks that are in place in England to support the delivery of the 2030 Global Biodiversity Framework targets and where there are gaps. Read the report here. 

WHO ATACH: First Wins Library

This library of case studies aims to provide concrete examples of interventions which can be implemented in health systems to get started on climate resilience and low-carbon sustainability. Access the library here.

WHO ATACH: Target setting for low-carbon sustainable health systems

This new resource aimed at health system administrators and policymakers provides advice and resources on how to set credible and ambitious decarbonisation targets for low-carbon sustainable health systems. This should be used alongside the WHO Operational Framework for Building Climate Resilient and Low Carbon Health Systems. Further information is available here.

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Articles, podcasts and videos

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

Please share

Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested. Anyone can sign up to receive this newsletter by clicking this link: https://action.ukhealthalliance.org/page/69209/subscribe/1

If you’ve got information about resources, campaigns, or events you would like to be included in the next edition, please send them to anandita.pattnaik@ukhealthalliance.org. The next bulletin will be published on 19 January 2023.