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14th October 2022

UKHACC Bulletin October 2022

Updates, opportunities, and resources on climate action.

We had a fantastic day at the UKHACC Ride For Their Lives in London yesterday. Many thanks to everyone who participated – the cyclists, the marshalls, the panellists, the audience, everyone who shared pictures and words of encouragement on Twitter, those who cheered and waved to the cyclists as they passed, and the brilliant team at RCP for looking after us and fueling us on the day. Lots of fun was had by the cyclists on their route around London, while also bringing home the important message of the vital collaboration of health professionals in highlighting the dangers of air pollution and inspiring people to get informed and active in calling for cleaner air and a healthy planet. The event was recorded and we’ll be able to share that with you in a few weeks.

Photos from the day can be accessed here:  Please do feel free to use and share them, and help to continue to spread the message of the need for health professionals to ensure their voice is heard in action on air pollution and climate change. And if you have been inspired to organise your own Ride for their Lives event you can find out more on Ride For Their Lives website. #RideForTheirLives


Health submissions to the UNFCCC global stocktake

Following the health submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Global Stocktake, which was coordinated by the Global Climate and Health Alliance and World Health Organisation, the UNFCCC has published a summary report on the first Technical Dialogue of the GST, which includes strong inclusion of health, including:

This is a good basis to build on at COP27, where the second technical dialogue will take place. The GST summary report can be viewed here.

Have your say

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

Just published >> Rhiannon Osborne has written and excellent article on the health endorsement of the fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty in the BMJ. Please do take the time read this and share it with your networks.

We have joined with more than 1400 health professionals and 200 health organisations from around the world in the letter calling on governments to urgently develop and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty that lays out a legally binding global plan to phase out fossil fuel use in order to protect the health of people around the world. Recent research has highlighted the harm fossil fuel emissions cause to health, showing that toxic airborne carbon particles even enter the lungs and brains of unborn babies. At the same time, the UK Government is defying climate warnings and opening a new licensing round for companies to explore for oil and gas in the North Sea. In this context, it is vital that healthcare professionals use their voices to highlight the harms of fossil fuels: we urge you to also sign the letter if you have not already done so and encourage colleagues to sign too.

There has been lots of global media coverage of the letter from health, including in The Guardian – who tweeted about it to their 3.8 million followers – Radio France Internationale, Deutsche Welle, Euronews, eNews Channel Africa, South Africa’s most trusted TV channel, and The Global Climate and Health Alliance.

Review of net zero: call for evidence

The Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has commissioned a review of the government’s net zero target, to make sure it ‘does not place undue burdens on businesses or consumers’. The review will report at the end of 2022. As part of this review, BEIS is running an open consultation inviting the general public, businesses and other organisations to share evidence on the government’s approach to delivering its net zero target. Please share your views here to help ensure that the government prioritises delivering net zero as soon as possible. The consultation runs until 27 October.

Get involved

2022 Lancet Countdown

The 2022 Lancet Countdown report on health and climate change will be published on 25 October at 23.30 BST, with a launch event on 26 October at 14.00 BST. Register here. Publication of the UK policy briefing – co-authored by UKHACC – will coincide with the launch of the global report. The briefing calls on UK governments to set safer air pollution limits, invest in green space for physical and mental health, and end all subsidies and consent for fossil fuels while ensuring a just transition to renewable energy.


The Walk2COP27 launch townhall event took place at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on 22 September. After the town hall, a group joined a 12km walk from the College on St Vincent Street to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, via the Clyde walkway passing the host venue for COP26. Trees will be planted by the Jane Goodall Institute for the 100 kilometres travelled by the participants.

We encourage you to organise your own Walk2COP27 on the atlasGO app. When individuals register, they will be asked to join a team, which allows you to see who has joined from your network and how they are doing. A toolkit is available to encourage individuals and teams to register on the app, a how-to-guide, newsletter content, and branding that allows you to add your own messaging and logo. Further details are available here.


Asthma + Lung UK roles

Asthma + Lung UK is the UK’s lung charity. They fight for a world where everyone has healthy lungs, and where lung health is prioritised through better understanding, research, treatment, and support. They are currently advertising the following vacancies:

Applications for all these vacancies close at 9am on 17 October. See details here.

Courses and Events


A number of sessions are open for registration in our popular lunchtime sessions. These events are held online from 12.00-13.30 on the dates indicated below. Session involve presentations by leading experts followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

19 October 2022 | Reducing the carbon footprint of end of life care

This lunchtime session will discuss the carbon footprint of end of life care and why a systems approach to sustainability is needed. The panel includes Richard Smith, Chair UKHACC; Max Watson, ECHO Programme Director; Jane Blazeby, University of Bristol. Click here to register.

14 December 2022 | How the health community can lead in the transition to more sustainable diets

What role do health professionals play in the transition to more sustainable diets, with case studies and survey outcomes. The panel includes Laura Freeman and Shireen Kassam, Plant-Based Health Professionals; Kristin Bash, Faculty of Public Health; Laura-Jane Freeman, King’s College Hospital. Registration opening soon.

18 January 2023 | Progress towards a net zero health service in the UK

Health leaders from the England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will provide an update on current plans and progress towards delivering a net zero health service. The panel includes Marc Davies, Public Health Wales; Gregor Smith, CMO Scotland; Nick Watts, Greener NHS England. Registration opening soon.

Extinction Rebellion UK Weekend of Resistance

14-16 October | London

Extinction Rebellion (XR) UK is running a long weekend of non-violent direction actions, outreach, music, talks and trainings. Right now the UK Government is protecting the big oil and gas companies’ profits at the expense of ordinary people. The result is an unprecedented cost of living crisis and a climate crisis that is threatening the future of humanity. XR is asking everyone to come together this weekend and say loudly and clearly ‘we can’t afford this anymore’: we can’t afford a political system that is unable to deal with the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis. Find out more about what’s planned for the long weekend here.

The University of Edinburgh’s Future of Climate Justice Series

14 October, 18.00, AMUK (online, free)

In AMUK, Indonesian writer and artist Khairani Barokka performs a new, archipelago-futurist piece on environmental and climate crises as the result of centuries of colonial extractivism. Through the colonial histories leading to the mistranslation of the Malay/Indonesian word ‘amuk’ into ‘amuck’, and the phrase ‘running amuck’, these words are imagined as characters in literal dialogue with and against each other.  Register here.

19 October, 18.00, Actions that change systems (online, free)

The final event in The Future of Climate Justice series takes place online with an extended community of climate justice leaders sharing and examining the actions that change systems. Climate justice is gender justice, it is environmental justice, intergenerational justice, racial justice, economic justice, and nature justice. Register here.

Environmental Protection UK Annual Conference

19 October | 9.00-17.00 (Warwick University or online)

The EPUK 2022 Annual conference is titled ‘Going for Net Zero: Opportunities & Challenges for Better Local Environment Protection. There will be a range of sessions and expert speakers, covering topics including: Measuring and delivering Net Zero, Improving air quality and climate protection, Land management and climate interactions, The future of enforcement for local environmental protection. See the full programme of speakers and book tickets here.

Health for a Green New Deal: Prescription for Climate Justice

27 October | 19.00-20.30

Medact is holding an October Big Meeting for their Health for a Green New Deal campaign, which will include: Updates from local Medact groups; The launch of a new ‘Prescription for Climate Justice’ action guide; Practising Persuasive Conversations; Information on plans around COP 27 Global Day of Action & the People’s Health Tribunal. Find out more and register to attend here.

Talks & Panels on Nutrition by Plant-Based Health Professionals UK

12 November | Olympia Grand, London

Plant Based Health Professionals UK are holding a day of talks & panels on Saturday 12 November in the ‘Nutrition’ talks area at VegfestUK London this year. See the full programme for Vegfest and buy tickets here. NHS staff can get free tickets here.

Plant-Based Health Professionals Side Event at the Planetary Health Annual Meeting

31 October |10.15-11.15

Panel members at this event will be Shireen Kassam, Linda Karlberg, Hayley Tait, Laura Freeman and Declan Cotter. They will be discussing the statement ‘This house believes that sustainable plant-based nutrition education should be a core component of all healthcare curricula.’ Find out more and register here.

See here for details on the Planetary Health Annual Meeting, 31 October-1 November, and register for free to attend virtually.

President’s Conference: Sustainability in Healthcare

16 November | 9.00-17.00 (hybrid, 6 CPD)

An in-depth look at sustainability in healthcare and the impact of climate change on health and healthcare delivery with informative, thought provoking discussions, international perspectives and ideas to take forward on a personal and institutional level. Book here

Healthy Planet, Healthy People, Joint Public Health Conference

30 November | 10.00-16.00 (online)

The 2022 Joint North South Public Health Conference will focus on how the global climate crisis is impacting on health. Speakers include Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government; Dr Maria Neira, World Health Organisation; Nick Watts, Chief Sustainability Officer, NHS England; Professor John Barry, Queen’s University Belfast; and Dr Jenny Mack, Institute of Public Health. Book here.

Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Courses

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare offers a number of opportunities for learning through short courses, foundation-level courses, and technical courses including carbon footprinting for healthcare, sustainability in quality improvement and teaching sustainable quality improvement. Please check out the website to see what’s available.

Plant-Based Health Professionals UK webinars

Plant-Based Health Professionals UK – an ever-growing collective of medical professionals doing their part to inspire change and help vegans all over – are running live CPD-accredited webinars on topics including plant-based nutrition and mental health, lifestyle medicine and real life patient stories. They have two webinars coming up soon. Find out more and register here.

>> Barriers and Behavioural Strategies to Adopting a Plant-Based Diet, Wednesday 19 October, 19.00-20.00

>> Plant-based diets and adolescent eating disorders: Which came first and practical management, Thursday 17 November, 19.00-20.00

New resources

Climate change and health in Wales: Views from the public

This report presents initial findings from a survey of adult residents in Wales on their perceptions of climate change and health. Whilst work to understand and mitigate climate change is gaining momentum in Wales, there remains a lack of information on population views and behaviours. To address this gap, a public survey was developed to seek the population’s views about climate change, its relationship with health, their current climate friendly behaviours, their willingness to engage in action, and views on policy solutions.

Do no harm: Healthcare professionals address sustainability and climate change

Economist Impact conducted a survey of 150 hospital doctors and nurses in France, Germany and the UK on the subject of sustainability and climate change, and published the striking results and analysis in a whitepaper. Most respondents believe climate change will moderately or significantly affect the physical (62%) and mental (58%) health of their patients. The majority want to educate patients on sustainable lifestyles (33%) and climate change risk factors for patient health (25%). Yet a significant majority (74%) feel unsupported in green literacy efforts, indicating that healthcare institutions need to better support their staff to deliver net zero.

Clean Air Knowledge Hub

Global Action Plan (GAP) is leading a DEFRA-funded project involving GAP, Imperial College and UKHACC, which aims to mobilise GPs to speak to their patients about air pollution. As part of this work, they have helped create a free Clean Air Knowledge Hub with lots of resources about air pollution all in one place. If you are interested in engaging with this work, please email Malcolm White at

Reports, articles and videos

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

The BMJ special climate issue has been published with a message of finding hope among the depair. The edition can be accessed online and as an e-book.

Dr Nick Watts, the Chief Sustainability Officer at NHS England, has written a blog marking two years since the NHS became the world’s first health system to commit to delivering a net zero health service. NHS England has produced a video highlighting the work being done across the country.

The International Review of Psychiatry has published a special issue on mental health in the climate crisis. Watch a recording of the launch event here.

New analysis, funded by the Clean Air Fund, suggests that the UK government’s proposed air quality target may be misaligned with its existing 2035 climate commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Richard Smith, the Chair of UKHACC, co-authored an article published in Lancet Planetary Health outlining why we need a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. He also wrote a recent piece for the BMJ on the dangers of uninhibited economic growth, arguing that green growth or degrowth are desirable alternatives.

Rhiannon Osbourne, campaigner for health and climate justice and a member of UKHACC executive committee, argues in the BMJ that dismantling the fossil fuel industry is an essential step towards a socially just ecological future, urging fellow healthcare workers to join the fight against fossil fuels.

New research has found toxic air pollution particles found in the lungs and brains of unborn babies. In a disturbing reminder of the dangers to health of polluted air, particles breathed by mothers pass to their vulnerable foetuses, causing potentially lifelong consequences.

Melissa Pegg, Fellow in Sustainable Surgery for the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, wrote a blog for our website on the progress of The Green Surgery Project; UKHACC is a member of the project team. The project aims to produce evidence-based recommendations on how to mitigate the carbon footprint of surgical practice.

Dr Chris Newham wrote an article for the BMJ urging all healthcare professionals and health institutions to engage in non-disruptive, mass participation protests to ‘show the government that you are serious in your concerns about climate’. The Association of Clinical Psychologists released a statement earlier this year supporting climate activists engaging in non-violent direct action and encouraging members to support the cause.

According to a recent YouGov poll, 51% of Londoners support Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover the whole of Greater London from August 2023.

People of colour in England are more than three times more likely to live in neighbourhoods with very high air pollution, putting them at disproportionate risk of heart attacks, cancer and strokes, according to research.

The UK environment is under threat from a ‘deregulatory free-for-all’ proposed by a recent UK government bill, say environmentalists. Groups including the RSPB, the National Trust, the Wildlife Trusts, and Wildlife and Countryside link are encouraging supporters to put pressure on Conservative MPs over proposals that they say strike at the heart of environmental and wildlife protections. In an unprecedented move, the heads of the Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and RSPB strongly criticised the government for its ‘U-turn’ on Conservative manifesto promises on the environment, and did not rule out asking their members to take part in street demonstrations.

A recent article in Lancet Planetary Health argues for an ecocentric vision of planetary health grounded in Indigenous epistemologies, and suggests ways we can all work towards a decolonial approach to planetary health that recognises our obligations to people, animals and the planet.

A Disorder 4 Everyone, an organisation which challenges the culture of psychiatric diagnosis, held a discussion session on the pathologisation of climate distress; watch a recording here.

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