As we anticipate publication of a new energy strategy for the UK, we have urged the government to stick on the path of clean energy to ensure a secure and healthy future for our country and the wider world.
The crisis in Ukraine has demonstrated the volatility of our reliance on fossil fuels. It has exposed a dependence on international supplies and resulted in huge rises in fossil fuel prices, exacerbating a fuel crisis with the ongoing threat of further price increases. Nobody should need to choose between heating and eating and, as the government sets outs its plans, solutions that will benefit people’s health while also protecting our economy and our security are urgently needed.
The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that ‘any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future’. Expanding UK reliance on domestic production of oil and gas, including through fracking, is slow to achieve and will do nothing to alleviate fuel poverty or reduce carbon emissions. An ambitious programme of retro-fitting, insulation, and clean heat generation in our buildings combined with sustained investment in renewable energy that contributes to decreasing emissions while also creating jobs, improving health, and alleviating poverty, is what is needed.
Clean Cities campaign
The Clean Cities Campaign are calling on London bike owners to share pics of the weird or annoying places they’re forced to keep their two-wheeled friends. As well as sharing on social media, the best snaps will feature on billboards in London. It’s all part of their #ThisIsAwkward campaign – calling on candidates in the upcoming May elections, to commit to delivering a cheap, convenient and secure bike hanger space for residents that need one on their street. Please share your pictures as soon as possible with the #ThisIsAwkward, or send them in using this form.
UKHACC Chair, Richard Smith recently attended a speech by London Mayor Sadiq Khan on how we hopes to realise his ambition of all Londoners being able to breathe clean air by extending the ultra low emission zone (ULEZ). Richard has written a blog about the speech here
Low carbon inhalers
A Greener NHS project on clinician-facing education and communication on low carbon respiratory care inhalers, is reaching out to different clinician groups to support delivery of the communications, cascading of resources, setting up educational events, and embedding into existing events.
Kieran Sandhu, a clinical fellow involved with the project is running an information session at 11-12 on Monday 21 March with members and colleagues of UKHACC. Anyone interested in finding out more is welcome to request to be added to the meeting calendar invites – please contact email@example.com if you are interested.
Nine things you can do for your health and the planet
UK climate and health experts have come together to launch a series of recommendations for boosting human health in tandem with combatting climate change, following a major UN Report highlighting the dire risk to human mental and physical health because of global warming – and the devastation to nature and biodiversity that it brings.
Experts at the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London collaborated with the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change on the 9 key tips for improving your own health and that of the planet, issues that are tightly intertwined.
Launched in Food Waste Action Week, the tips include eating up leftovers – as UK households waste 4.5million tonnes of edible food every year – enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall 90 times or save the average family £720 per year. They also include switching to a largely plant-based, balanced diet, as a high meat diet produces 2.5 times as much greenhouse gas emission as a vegan equivalent while almost three in ten UK adults are obese, according to the recent National Food Strategy published ahead of World Obesity Day.
Good Law Project
The Good Law Project is taking legal action to force the Government to produce a revised and strengthened strategy that sets out specific data-driven plans to ensure the UK meets in commitments to achieve its carbon reduction targets. The Government is legally required under the Climate Change Act to produce a climate change budget every five years, which is meant to map out how the country is working to be net zero by 2050.
The legal case, which was launched in the High Court by the Good Law Project, ClientEarth and Friends of the Earth, has been given permission to bring judicial review proceedings on all cases.
Further information for anyone wishing to support this work is available here.
Have your say
Environment Targets and Nature Recovery Green Paper
The government’s new long-term environmental targets were announced on Wednesday this week. The targets are a key component of the Environment Act 2021, which commits the government to set a limited-based target in ambient air pollution by October 2022. The proposed targets cover water, air quality and diversity in wildlife. The government has also published new Nature Recovery Green Paper which focuses on proposals for restoring nature and halting species decline.
The proposed target outlined aims for a limit of fine particles in England of 10mcg/m3 by 2040. The current WHO guideline is 5mcg/m3 with an interim target of 10mcg/m3. A recent report by Clean Air Fund has found that with existing and planned policies already in place, the UK can achieve the target of 10mcg/m3 by 2030. The proposed target of 10mcg/m3 by 2040 is disappointing, it lacks ambition and will prolong the damaging health impacts of dirty air. An article with some more information about the CAF report is available here.
The proposed targets and green paper proposals are open to consultation for eight weeks. UKHACC will be working with our members to produce a response.
Further information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/delivering-on-the-environment-act-new-targets-announced-and-ambitious-plans-for-nature-recovery
Great Heat Health Information Network consultant
The WMO / WHO Joint Office for Climate and Health is seeking a one-year full time consultant to provide coordination and technical support to the Global Heat Health Information Network. The ideal candidate will have experience in extreme heat risk management, health emergencies and/or public health issues, with knowledge of climate science and early warning systems.
Location: Geneva, Switzerland (preferred); home-based upon arrangement
Deadline: 28 March 2022, 17:00 CET
Learn more: https://ghhin.org/news/job-vacancy-ghhin-technical-support-unit-manager/
Atmosphere Special Issue: Climate Change and Health – Insight into a healthy, sustainable and resilient future
Atmosphere is seeking submissions to a special edition of the journal focusing on climate change and health. This a peer reviewed open access journal and papers can be submitted until the deadline of 18 June 2022. Further details here: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/atmosphere/special_issues/climate_health_sustainability
Call for abstracts: COP26 Legacy Series
The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh is running a five-part series of short evening webinars on climate change and health. Abstracts are invited by 25 March 2022 from clinicians witnessing the impact of climate change on their clinical practice and patients. Further information is available here: https://events.rcpe.ac.uk/cop26-legacy-series-climate-change-and-health-feedback-around-globe
The climate crisis and its health impacts
12.00-13.00 | Thursday 29 March 2022 | Online
The launch of the Public Policy Projects Climate and Health report will address how climate change impacts human health and the solutions that are in our grasp to prevent and mitigate the health consequences of climate change.
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh COP26 Legacy Series
Climate change and health: feedback from around the globe
18.00-19.30 | Thursday 21 April | online
Future of health and climate change – COP26 – what next?
18.00-19.30 | Thursday 26 May | online
Climate Change and Health Inequalities Conference
9.00-17.00 | Friday 20 May 2022 | Milton Keynes (in person)
Milton Keynes University Hospital in collaborating with BAPIO (British association of Physicians of Indian Origin) Women’s Forum is organising a face-to-face one day national conference on Climate change and Health inequalities. The event organisers say, “We believe that climate emergency and health inequalities are closely related and are the important factors that will affect healthcare system if not addressed soon. This conference aims to share the challenges, possible solutions and vision for the future.” The abstract submissions are now open. If you are involved in projects linked to climate change, sustainability, or health inequalities, please share your experience. The top four abstracts will be invited to present in the conference. Please see the flyer for details on abstract submission.
Articles and videos
We’ve pulled together a list of recent articles and videos that are worth reading, watching and sharing.
This Boston Globe article by one of the authors of the IPCC report gives a hopeful perspective on climate change, starting with changing who is in the conversation.
This excellent animation illustrates how global temperatures from 1880 to 2021, and how much temperature increase has accelerated in recent years.
The global chief of the Red Cross has warned that governments much start treating the climate crisis as a national security concern on a par with war as climate breakdown threatens stability and security.
Richard Smith reflects on a recent webinar he attended on mental health and climate change organised by Climate Cares, writing why we need to stop talking about mental health and instead use words like “emotional distress”.
This article covers two recent reports which found that children will have their lives shortened by an average of a year and eight months from breathing polluted air.
This news piece highlights concerns from researchers who say the Amazon rainforest is moving towards a tipping point, which it might not be able to recover from.
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