UKHACC Bulletin January
The year 2024 has arrived and we are rapidly running out of time to stick to the 1.5 degrees Paris Agreement commitment. Last year was the hottest year on record with the world heating up to 1.4 degrees above pre-industrial levels. In 2023, the world also saw a record rise in renewable sources of energy, which will continue to increase with estimates that by 2030 there will be enough renewables to power the US and Canada.
In the UK, we anticipate a general election later this year and hope the next government will keep action on climate change and the restoration and protection of nature at the core of its agenda. As health professionals, we must call on all political parties to strengthen and ensure this. We have curated a list of actions where you can raise your voice below, starting with the ‘Write to your MP’ to vote against the new oil and gas bill that will be debated in the House of Commons on 22nd January 2024.
News and updates
Response to our letter to the GMC about doctors convicted for acting on climate and nature crises
In December, we wrote to the GMC asking them to allow doctors to appear before them for offences linked to protests on climate change and nature to explain why they have taken the actions they have. Their response can be read here, while our letter can be accessed here.
Response to our letter to the Labour Leader to review decisions on fossil fuels
We wrote a letter to the Labour leadership, Keir Starmer and Ed Miliband, calling on them to commit to reviewing decisions on new oil and gas licences if in government. We have received a response. Both of them can be read here.
UKHACC End-of-Year Report 2023: a year of growth and raising our voice
We’ve published our 2023 end-of-year report! In 2023, our membership grew by 31% reaching 46 organisations representing health professionals who are now members of our Alliance. The total membership of our members passed the 1 million mark in January 2023, reaching almost 1,050,000 by the end of the year. It’s been a busy and productive year, and we’re grateful to all of our members and partners for working with us to deliver. Thank you. Check out the report here.
Letter to Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
We’ve joined with organisations across health and the environment to call on the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to deliver policies for nature and health. The letter is available here.
Have your say
Write to your MPs to vote against the new oil and gas bill
On Monday 22 January, MPs will debate the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill. The UKHACC has developed an easy-to-use template for you to ‘Write to your MP’. It’s important that as many MPs as possible join the debate to speak out against this legislation which would require the UK regulator to hold annual licensing rounds for new oil and gas projects.
Petition: Calling on the WHO to declare the climate and 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.
Petition: Demand UK political parties tackle the climate emergency
Sign this petition by VoteClimate to use your democratic power to enforce your demand that the parties take real action on climate.
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.
Open Letter: Public response to climate anxiety
The Climate Majority Project is initiating a campaign to advocate a public response to climate anxiety as both a public health issue and an opportunity to drive climate action. Sign this letter to newspaper editors to increase reporting on climate anxiety to drive action.
Fossil Fuel Divestment Motion for Medical Protection Society (MPS members only)
The MPS has taken a stance on excluding investments in coal and tar sands, but some of its portfolios still include oil and gas. Members are asking for full divestment from fossil fuels as an organisation representing the interests of health professionals. If you are a member of the MPS add your signature here & you will be sent the motion for wet signature (at least 250 signatures are needed).
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, find out more here.
Gardening for Health The Lambeth GP Food Co-op in the London borough of Lambeth is one of the first community-led health co-operatives working in and for the NHS. It is a cooperative of patients, doctors, nurses and Lambeth residents who grow food together. You can find more information on what they do and how to join here.
Courses and Events
Climate and Health Course
A new 3-part course developed by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) explores the impact of climate change on health, the contribution of healthcare to environmental damage, the concept of carbon hotspots and carbon footprinting, the principles of sustainable clinical practice and other ways health workers are influencing environmental policy and action. It is free to enrol, check it out here.
14 February 2024 | Online
Oil & gas companies (aka fossil fuel companies), energy, and the climate and nature crisis
As part of our In Conversation series, we have the chair of Sellafield UK and former Head of Group Technology at BP, Mr Tony Meggs, as our first guest. We will talk to him about the role of oil and gas (aka fossil fuel) companies in the climate and nature crisis and what our energy mix should be in the next 20 years. Register here.
24 January 2024 | Online
Clean Air Summit
The Global Action Plan’s Clean Air Night campaign will come to a close with the Clean Air Night Summit from 4-5pm, bringing together experts, local authorities and campaigners to learn from each other and share experiences. To register for the event click here.
24 January 2024 | Online
Why words matter: a new way to speak to Brits about climate change
The ACT Climate Labs is sharing learnings from their recent qualitative research project ‘The Language of Climate Change’, to learn new ways of speaking to the ‘persuadables’ (the 69% of the UK who are neither climate activists nor deniers). More details and a registration link can be found here.
24 January 2024 | 6 PM | Online
Evidence-Based Vegan Nutrition and Myth-Busting
This webinar is organised by Plant-Based Health Professionals UK and will address common plant-based nutrition myths and where to find science-backed nutrition resources. Further information and registration details are available here.
25 January 2024 | Online
Climate & Health Coalition: Toolkit Introduction
A toolkit for healthcare businesses to act on climate and health has been developed by the Climate and Health Coalition. The toolkit can be accessed here and the registration link for the introduction event is here.
1 February 2024 | London
Net zero NHS: imagining the future
An immersive installation and workshop that showcases what the NHS would look like in the future. It is co-created and hosted by the Health Foundation. More details are here.
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.
Report: ‘From analysis to action: climate change litigation.
A new guide published by the Faculty of Public Health and its partners is aimed at public health professionals. It will help them understand and contribute to litigation to address climate change. The report can be accessed here.
The Nature 2030 Essay Collection
As part of the Nature 2030 campaign, the Wildlife and Countryside Link has developed a series of essays exploring the Nature 2030 policy asks. The essay collection can be found here.
Report: Climate Noise
The European Public Health Alliance has published a report on the intersections of climate change and noise pollution. This is an interesting new report as noise pollution is often less talked about in research and policy. The report can be accessed here.
Report: Philanthropic Foundation Funding for Clean Air – Advancing climate action, health and social justice
A new report by Clean Air Fund identifies funding trends, gaps and opportunities for philanthropies to maximise the benefits of their investments. The report can be read here.
Articles, podcasts and videos
We’ve pulled together a list of recent articles, podcasts and videos worth reading, watching, listening and sharing.
- In this article, Anandita Pattnaik calls her first time attending the COP28 both energising and disappointing.
- Read this column by Richard Smith on why physiotherapists need to act on the climate and nature crises.
- Check out our thoughts on the outcomes of the two-week discussions at the COP28 titled “COP28: Some progress but not enough”.
- Read this blog piece to learn what the public thinks about NHS Net Zero.
- Preorder the book “Sorry for the Inconvenience But This Is an Emergency” by Lynne Jones to understand the nonviolent struggle for our planet’s future.
- This article makes a case for why net-zero healthcare systems are crucial for a healthy planet.
- New research shows that the NHS could save £6.7 billion a year if everyone in England switched to a plant-based diet.
- New research by the University of Dundee shows that children are more vulnerable to poor air quality
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If you’ve got information about resources, campaigns, or events you would like to be included in the next edition, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The next bulletin will be published on 16 February 2023.