UKHACC Bulletin November 2023
This week, the 2023 global report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change revealed a growth in activities that promote fossil fuel burning, putting a healthy future further out of reach. It reported an increase in fossil fuel investments, private banks lending to fossil fuel companies, and an expansion of oil and gas activities. In the UK, the King’s Speech on 6 November announced a bill for annual oil and gas licencing rounds, a move that has been criticised by many, including former Conservative energy minister, Chris Skidmore.
COP28, which takes place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December, will see health included as a key theme for the first time, with the first-ever climate-health ministerial meeting. It is vital that the health sector leads the call for the phase-out of fossil fuels to protect health and our health systems. We hope it is a COP that delivers true progress.
Until then here is all that has been happening…
News and updates
LAUNCHED: Green Surgery Report
A new landmark report that sets the groundwork for reducing the carbon footprint of surgical care has been published. The Green Surgery report has involved significant input and collaboration with individuals and organisations working across the surgical care pathway. The result is the world’s first detailed account of how to reduce the environmental impact of surgical care while maintaining high-quality patient care. A dedicated website with a link to download the full report and key recommendations can be viewed here. Also, check this video which explains why the report is so important.
LAUNCHED: Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change 2023
The 2023 global report of the Lancet Countdown reveals that climate inaction is costing lives and livelihoods today, and the dangers the future might hold if we don’t urgently curb emissions. What does the data tell us about health and the need for action from a UK perspective? UKHACC and partners will present the findings of the UK policy brief on 29 November. Click here to register.
Global health community unites to demand an end to fossil fuel dependency at COP28
On the occasion of the first-ever health day at COP, an open letter supported by organisations representing 46.3m health professionals around the world urges the COP28 presidency and world leadership for a commitment to an expedited phase-out of fossil fuels and an investment in a renewable energy transition to ensure the health of all. Find out more here.
Open Letter from GPs and health bodies calls for end to fossil fuels
On 30 October, UKHACC joined with the world’s leading GPs and health bodies representing three million health professionals to urge international leaders to safeguard the health of global populations from the climate crisis in an open letter calling for an end to oil and gas expansion and a just transition away from fossil fuels.
Have your say
Petition: Calling on the WHO to declare climate & nature crises as a global health emergency
Following the publication of the editorial in almost 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 crises as a global health emergency. You can sign the petition here to show your support leading to the World Health Assembly in May 2024.
Survey: Public Health Training Curriculum
The Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education is conducting a survey to understand how climate and health concepts are being incorporated into public health training globally. The survey is intended for faculty, academics, and course coordinators familiar with climate and planetary health content at schools, so please feel free to pass it along to colleagues or school leadership who you think might be interested. Survey responses will contribute to an annual indicator of this important metric to track health sector resilience in times of climate and environmental change. The survey can filled out here.
Support: Climate and Ecology Bill
Over 250 local councils have backed the Climate and Ecology Bill. Zero Hour, the campaign group behind the Bill, needs your help to contact your local councillors to help reach 300 councils before the end of this year. Further information can be found here.
Support: Uniting for Health and Climate Action
At the COP28, a Climate and Health Declaration will be delivered by health ministers and governments gathered in Dubai in December 2023. The WHO urges health professionals, groups and individuals to unite in a call for world leaders to meet the commitments they have already made and to raise their ambition for a healthier, fairer and greener future. Support this call for action to advocate for better health for all.
No new oil MP engagement event: 21 November
Building on September’s visit to Parliament by over 100 scientists, who used the ‘green carding’ approach to speak to their MPs, on 21 November a coalition of people and organisations will hold constructive conversations with our elected representatives to communicate that new oil and gas licensing is incompatible with our near-term wellbeing, climate commitments, and a liveable future. The aim of the event will be to engage as many MPs as possible about the cross-party importance of opposing new oil and gas. Find out more. Anyone concerned about new oil and gas is welcome to join. Find out more
Clean Air Night
Global Action Plan – the organisers of Clean Air Day – are launching a new sister campaign, Clean Air Night, 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.
Survey: Indoor Air Pollution Study
A Wellhome study by Imperial College London is recruiting participants living in West London to participate in the largest indoor air pollution study. The aim of the study is to identify dominant air pollution exposures across the indoor:outdoor air pollution continuum within vulnerable and diverse urban communities and to identify behavioural changes that can reduce this exposure and improve health outcomes. For further information and sign-up details click here.
Courses and Events
29 November 2023 | 12 PM | Online
Lancet Countdown on Health & Climate Change: Highlights of UK Policy Brief 2023
Following the launch of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change global report on 15th November, this webinar will present the UK-specific data and insights, with recommendations for policymakers that focus on mitigating some of the greatest harms to health from climate change. Register for the event here.
21 November 2023 | Hybrid
Launch of the Pathfinder report: Pathways to a healthy net zero future.
This event will present key findings and recommendations from the Lancet Pathfinder Commission report on the health benefits of climate action. Find out more here.
27 November | 13.30-15.00 | Online
New data analysis on the decline of public transport
Over the last six months, Friends of the Earth has teamed up with transport data expert Malcolm Morgan at Leeds University to map the decline in public transport provision for every neighbourhood and council area across the UK over the last 15 years. This webinar will be an opportunity to get into the details of how the data analysis was carried out, discuss the results, and provide an opportunity to explore how this data can be used for the best effect. Sign-up here to attend or to receive the recording of the webinar.
Recording | Until 31st March 2024
VegMed conference: On-Demand Access to Recording
The VegMed conference was held on the 9th and 10th of September. Viewing passes allow access to the recording for both days of the VegMed conference. Further information can be found here.
Operational framework for building climate resilient & low carbon health systems
The WHO’s new guidance for health sector professionals to prepare for climate change as they work to build climate resilient and low carbon health systems. More details can be accessed here.
Report: Clean Air NDC Scorecard 2023
The scorecard published by the Global Health Alliance on Climate Change examines the integration of air quality and health considerations into the most recently published nationally determined contributions (NDCs) from 169 countries and the European Union. Check out the Air Pollution NDC Score cards. Spoiler: The UK scored 5/15.
Report: Climate change litigation – A guide for public health professionals
A new report by multiple organisations including the Faculty of Public Health, Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, and others, makes a timely and important contribution to building the competence and capacity of public health professionals around climate change litigation, supporting strategic partnerships, and encouraging leadership to protect and promote the health of people and planet. The report can be found here.
Report: How do UK citizens perceive the co-benefits of climate action?
A new report by the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London explores the public perceptions of the co-benefits of climate action. The report focuses on warmer homes, air quality, energy security, reduced inequalities, nature and biodiversity, extreme weather events, stronger communities and job creation. Read the report here.
Report: The implications of behavioural science for effective climate policy
A set of two reports that review the role of behavioural science, defined as the study of how humans think and behave, in designing effective climate policies have been published by the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, commissioned by the Climate Change Committee. Both the reports can be accessed here.
Articles, podcasts and videos
We’ve pulled together a list of recent articles, podcasts and videos worth reading, watching, listening and sharing.
- Read this opinion piece by Gina McCarthy called “It’s time to admit that our health and climate crises are one”.
- Watch this new BBC series titled “Climate and Us” which explores the health impacts of climate crises.
- A new essay collection produced by the Green Alliance showcases the need for health and climate change to be addressed jointly.
- Read this blog piece on the later Eating Better report to find out why health organisations need to take a stance on reducing processed meat consumption.
- The 2023 edition of the State of Food and Agriculture reveals the huge costs to our health, the environment and society of our current agrifood systems
- New research has found that most health journals have published little or nothing on climate change and health, despite it being the greatest major global threat to health. Why is that? asks Richard Smith.
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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 email@example.com. The next bulletin will be published on 15 December 2023.