Jan 11th

LSHTM Centre for Global Change and Centre for Global NCDs present a Symposium on: 'Preventing global NCDs through low carbon de

By Climate and Health Council
Date: Tuesday 12 February 2013 
Time: 9:00 am
Venue: John Snow Lecture Theatre, LSHTM, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK
Type of event: Symposium

The increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) poses an enormous threat to populations and health systems across the globe. At the same time, the impacts of climate change are predicted to have profound public health effects and demand urgent transition to low-carbon economies. Although important synergies exist in the causes and efforts to tackle these major health threats, the synergies have received limited attention to date.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's Centre for Global NCDs and the Centre on Global Change and Health are hosting a one-day symposium to 1) share information between the NCD and sustainability communities and 2) identify common causes and interlinkages within these communities’ agendas. The event will bring together policy makers, NGOs and researchers to better understand each other’s perspectives and exploit common strategies to become more than the sum of their parts.

Key note speakers will present an overview of each subject area, highlighting the important linkages. This will be followed by a session showcasing research and policy actions that achieve both NCD prevention and low-carbon development. The afternoon will feature a panel discussion to debate the most effective actions to achieve sustainability and low-carbon development at local and global scales.

Confirmed speakers include:
  • Sir George Alleyne, Emeritus Director, PAHO
  • Professor Sir Bob Watson, former DEFRA Chief Scientist and former Chief Scientist and Director for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (ESSD) at the World Bank
  • Professor Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City University
  • Dr Carlos Dora, Coordinator, WHO/Department of Public Health and Environment
  • Professor Sir Andy Haines, Professor of Public Health & Primary Care, LSHTM
  • Dr Anna Coote, Head of Social Policy, New Economics Foundation
  • Professor Ian Roberts, LSHTM
Register online at http://globalncd2013.eventbrite.com/

Admission: Registration required, see url below

Email: GlobalNCD@lshtm.ac.uk
More information: http://globalncd2013.eventbrite.com/
Jan 7th

Annual National NHS Sustainable Development conference & exhibition on Feb 14th

By Climate and Health Council
A message from Govtoday, which is organising the upcoming Annual National NHS Sustainable Development conference and exhibition:

"Govtoday is pleased to announce our 4th Annual National NHS Sustainable Development conference and exhibition – Delivering a Sustainable Health System. This year’s event will showcase the work being carried out by NHS Organisations up and down the UK as well as informing the next steps in the implementation of carbon management and sustainability within the NHS. If you want to join in the discussions in the lead up to the day and beyond please join our discussion here - http://www.securingthefuture.co.uk/forum/38-nhs-sustainable-development

See also the event page at http://www.climateandhealth.org/events/profile/96 or register at http://www.nhssd.co.uk/?option=com_gtreg
Dec 29th

Our New Year's Resolution(s) for Climate and Health

By Climate and Health Council
"I resolve to take one action a month which will meaningfully lower my carbon footprint, and sustain it... or to do them all at once!"

See also the 'in pictures' slideshow at:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/gallery/2013-resolutions-gallery-health-climate

Post-box-009.jpgSeasonal-Day-Workers-in-E-013.jpg
Photographs:        David Sillitoe/Guardian (L)                      Attila Balazs/EPA (R)

1.     to work out my carbon footprint and where I could cut it to make the biggest difference most readily – start with simple things like always switching off rather than leaving on standby, buying an energy monitor, hang-drying clothes rather than tumble drying, and avoiding bottled water.  If you’re willing to really aim for big cuts, there are carbon conversations groups around the country to help people to work out how to reduce it by 50% with the support of a trained facilitator and local peers

2.     to cycle, walk or run wherever possible (or use public transport), and to consider holiday destinations reachable by train/public transport and to take the lowest carbon transport option feasible

3.     to reduce the amount of red meat and high-fat dairy I eat - eg. going veggie, shifting to white meat, pledging to become one of the ‘5 types of part-time carnivore’ (which helps to save the planet from harm, and my body from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more)

4.     to bank ethically (eg. with the co-operative bank, triodos or others listed here).  Whereas RBS has spent €10,694,000,000 financing coal since 2005, including funding tar sands and HSBC and Barclays are little better, the Co-operative Bank's ethical investment policy prohibits it from financing any oil, coal or gas projects. See this report for more info.

5.     to choose to buy from companies who are trying to make a difference, and deny it to companies which are not.  How to know?  Admittedly this is tricky, but the global 100 list, ethicalconsumer.org's run-down of ethical high street shops and boycott list, and this article from Forbes and may help.  Consumer power matters: last month Waitrose pullled out of a deal with Shell after a Greenpeace campaign.

6.     to move my a renewable electricity company (such as good energy, ecotricity or have a look at ethical consumer's ranking for others.

7.     to make sure that my home is maximally insulated, and to turn my thermostat down, a degree at a time (every degree saves 7-11% of my bills and emissions)

8.     to write to or arrange to meet my MP, to write to the PM and parliamentary candidates, telling them that I will be voting on principally on climate change related policies. (Or why not become a Unicef Children's Champion?)

9.     to choose local and seasonal fruit and vegetables instead of unseasonal imports and to choose produce with less packaging

10.  to pressure my employer/University/pension fund to divest their funds away from fossil fuels - read this analysis from Harvard's Institute of Politics for more info.

11.  to sign up to the petition related to the Doha Declaration on Climate, Health and Wellbeing, to consider signing up for the new CHC advocacy core team and to share these links with others

12.  to spread the word about climate and health, and the health co-benefits of sustainability, in my personal, professional and political life

Dec 21st

Climate talks and Doha declaration on climate, health and wellbeing

By Isobel Braithwaite
From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/doha-declaration-climate-health-wellbeing

To protect and promote human health in the face of climate change, we need rapid action - not only from our governments but also from us, as people who care about health

As the national coordinator of Healthy Planet UK, I help to link up and support students from around the country who are passionate about tackling global environmental change to protect human health.

As future health professionals, our work focuses on the links between climate change and health because we believe it's the biggest health threat of the 21st century, and because a more sustainable world can be better for health. As medical students, we are also aware that we will be the ones to inherit health problems that, for now, seem far in the future. Urgent action is needed now to avoid the enormous health consequences of climate change.

Last year, our team went out to the Durban Climate Summit (COP17), where they made this video. This year, Healthy Planet was represented by Jonny Elliott at COP18 in Doha. It was an exciting and often frustrating fortnight of advocacy engaging with young people from around the world - among them negotiators from Sub-Saharan Africa and small island states particularly vulnerable to climate change, and members of the WHO team.

COP18 delivered some wins - gender made it into the spotlight, loss and damage was put on the agenda albeit in vague terms, and a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was agreed. Overall, the outcomes are miles away from what the science tells us we need. Frustratingly, climate change is still seen only as a threat to ecosystems or the economy, rather than people's health.

With several other organisations, we were involved in putting together the Doha declaration on climate, health and wellbeing, now signed by over 80 organisations and more than 1200 individuals.

The declaration highlights the effects of climate change on current and future health, the cost to health of carbon, and the immense health and economic 'co-benefits' of meaningful climate action. Most of the health impacts people know about are direct ones, for example vector-borne diseases, heatwaves or flooding. Global predictions for future food availability however, don't include the effect of extremes, and food insecurity can have huge indirect impacts by forcing people to migrate, and driving civil conflict.

There is still time to add your signature to this critical declaration – it takes 30 seconds to sign up here.

Whilst the outcomes from Doha are bad news given the seriousness of the situation, we would be in a worse position if the process had collapsed entirely. The UK Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, commented, 'we wanted to pave the way for ... future [discussions on a new global treaty] and we've done that'. As Alden Meyer, head of the USA's Union of Concerned Scientists put it recently, "we have lots of work ahead of us, both in our home countries and at the international level if we expect to get better outcomes." That will require courage, creativity and leadership, not only by our governments but also by us; young and old.

Healthy Planet UK, part of the umbrella organisation Medsin, is a nationwide network of health students in the UK dedicated to education, action and advocacy around climate change and health.
Dec 7th

Climate and Health e-card images: a Christmas present from the CHC

By Climate and Health Council
These images have been commissioned by the CHC, and are for our members and partners to share and use as they choose. 

You can download and save your chosen image(s) by right-clicking, then print them, make an e-card at http://www.ecardster.com/ or copy directly into an email, and send, either with or without a related message! 

If you're looking for present ideas have a look here, or for those who have enough stuff, what about one from the Oxfam Unwrapped collection - practical gifts to improve both environment and health.  If you'd like to donate to the CHC to help cover running costs, you can do so here.


Frosty the Snowman.jpg



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All is calm, all is bright.jpg



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Rudoph the Red Nosed Reindeer.jpg



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Dec 3rd

PRESS RELEASE: Health is one of the most important motivations for climate action

By Climate and Health Council
Health and medical groups in the UK have joined international colleagues in calling for health to be central to the international climate talks, saying "human health is profoundly threatened by our global failure to halt emissions growth and curb climate change."
 
The Climate and Health Council, along with many of its members, the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, and the student group Healthy Planet UK, have signed the Doha Declaration for Climate, Health and Wellbeing.
 
The Doha Declaration calls for health to be central to climate action, and highlights the opportunities to improve health through emissions reductions - pointing out that reducing fossil fuel consumption and moving to low carbon energy systems can deliver many benefits to health worldwide.
 
"The impact of climate change on health is one of the most significant measures of harm associated with our warming planet," the Declaration says. "Protecting health is therefore one of the most important motivations for climate action."
 
The Declaration calls for:
 
  •     the health impacts of climate change to be taken into account nationally and internationally in   developing climate policies;
  •      investment in climate mitigation and adaptation programs to protect and promote health to be significantly and rapidly increased; and
  •      the health sector to be engaged and included in designing and leading climate mitigation and adaptation worldwide.
International signatories to the Doha Declaration on Climate Health and Wellbeing include the World Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses, International Federation of Medical Students, Health Care Without Harm, European Public Health Association, Royal College of General Practitioners (UK), Climate and Health Alliance, OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate & Health Council, Umeå Center for Global Health Research, and many others.
 
"As representatives of health communities around the world, we argue that strategies to achieve rapid and sustained emissions reductions and protect health must be implemented in a time frame to avert further loss and damage," the health and medical groups declare.
 
"We recognise that this will require exceptional courage and leadership from our political, business and civil society leaders, including the health sector; acceptance from the global community about the threats to health posed by our current path; and a willingness to act to realise the many benefits of creating low carbon, healthy, sustainable and resilient societies."
 
Read the Doha Declaration on Climate, Health and Wellbeing at: http://dohadeclaration.weebly.com
 
For  enquiries and background resources email Isobel or Robin or call 07813980366.

3 December 2012
Nov 20th

Stop oiling the wheels.

By robin stott
Every day , trillions of dollars swirl around the worlds financial systems . UK fund managers handle 3.2 trillion dollars worth of these financial assets , two thirds of which is  the savings of individual UK citizens. This  money, our money, is  invested in pension funds,savings , life assurance policies and other investment, and about 15% suppoirts the oil and gas sectors. Given the dominant role of fossil fuel burning in provoking global warming, this substantial investment makes no long term economic sense, and is profoundly damaging to the planet. Why does it go on, and what can we do to alter the pattern?
Many governments and investors are aware of the implications of this continuing investment . They identify three reasons which make it difficult for them to change their behaviour, which are:
The lack of consistent government policy , particularly the lack of a gauranteed carbon price, market mechanisms which prioritise short over long term benefits, and the disconnect between investors and their investments .
This is all true, but the money being invested is our money. We can exert direct pressure by insisting on immediate disinvestment of our money from the oil and gas sectors to  any form of carbon reducing innitiave.  As well as putting a brake on fossil fuel use , this  will have clear middle term benefits for the investors, as continuing to trash our environment, which the present investment strategy does, will inevitably lead to economic doom.
72% of students at Harvard have taken direct action by supporting a motion seeking divestment of Harvards 30 billion endowment fund .This Divest Harvard campaign, supported by Better Future Project and 350.org, is part of a quickly-growing fossil fuel divestment movement that has spread to over 50 universities and colleges across the USA. Inspired by the 1980s divestment movement that helped end apartheid in South Africa, the groups hope that fossil fuel divestment will help solve the climate crisis by stigmatizing the fossil fuel industry and supporting a clean energy future. 
The public health benefits of moving to a low carbon society are now well recognised. Health professionals  must  therefore  actively support this divestment movement , asserting the necessity to control fossil fuel use for the benefits of not only planetary , but population health.
We can act individually by switching our personal investment, by putting pressure on the institutions we work in to do likewise , and by supporting with health evidence the Better Future Project. Lets follow the example of the Harvard students and act now. 
And to support individual action, the Climate and Health Council  is exploring ways in which we can   facilitate  these endeavours, of which more anon.

Robin Stott









 
Nov 15th

A message from the CEO of the UK Climate Week

By Climate and Health Council
"Dear friends and colleagues

The search is on! Entries are now open for the Climate Week Awards, showcasing the
UK's most innovative, ambitious and effective action to combat climate change.

Do you know of an inspiring individual, project or organisation that you want to see
recognised? Nominate them now (http://www.climateweek.com/awards/how-to-enter/)  for
the 2013 Climate Week Awards.

The awards have 14 categories (http://www.climateweek.com/awards/award-categories/)
covering everything from sustainable business practice to new technologies and
climate adaptation. The eminent judging panel
(http://www.climateweek.com/awards/the-judges/) includes the Chair of the UK
Committee on Climate Change, Lord Deben. Winners are announced on 4 March at the
start of Climate Week.

It’s quick and free to enter - click here
(http://www.climateweek.com/awards/how-to-enter/) for details, email
awards@climateweek.com (mailto:awards@climateweek.com) or call 0203 397 2601.

Planning your activities

If you are planning an event for Climate Week please register now
(http://www.climateweek.com/run-an-event/register-an-event/) to help encourage
others in your area to run events too.

If you want something quick to organise, the Climate Week Challenge
(http://www.climateweek.com/challenge/) , Climate Week Swap
(http://www.climateweek.com/join-the-swap/) and Climate Week Pub Quiz
(http://www.climateweek.com/run-an-event/climate-week-pub-quiz/) are all activities
that take just one hour. You can also take part in The Big Pedal
(http://www.sustrans.org.uk) run by Sustrans, hire an eco display
(http://globalactionplan.org.uk/ecointeractive-events) from Global Action Plan or
showcase solutions to climate change via the British Science Association
(http://www.nsew.org.uk) 's focus on invention and discovery.

Please forward
(http://us2.forward-to-friend.com/forward?u=ed91793bd6e6c9ef070bb9379&id=6230496cd7&e=95e421516b)
this email to everyone you know who may be interested in Climate Week.

With best wishes,

Kevin Steele'
Nov 15th

A tale of two scandals

By Climate and Health Council

UK: GREENPEACE have recently released secret footage that exposes the inner workings of a Tory plot against British wind farms and the UK's climate change legislation, prompting opposition leader Ed Miliband to speak out in condemnation.


Undercover Greenpeace journalists infiltrated this year's Tory Party conference posing as anti-wind farm campaigners and met with elected MP's in order to obtain the footage. Their video captures Tory MP Chris Heaton-Harris explaining his secret support of the much maligned climate change denier James Delingpole in the recent Corby by-election, which he says was part of a wider, ongoing anti-wind strategy. In the video footage Tory MP Peter Lilley implicates the British Chancellor George Osborne and two Tory climate sceptics - recently promoted into energy and environmental posts - in a worrying plot to water down the UK's world leading Climate Change Act.


There is plenty of evidence to back-up David Cameron against his party plotters if he chooses to take a pro-wind position. Just today the Global Wind Energy Outlook shows how wind power could supply up to 12% of global electricity by 2020 (more than 5 times today's level), creating 1.4 million new jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 1.5 billion tons per year. They also say that with the right kind of political support wind power could provide more than 20% of the global electricity supply by 2030."

 

Join Greenpeace in calling on the British Prime Minister to respond to the anti-wind plot by publicly committing to wind power development and confirming his support for the legally binding nature of the UK's Climate Change Act, as well as on pushing for progress towards a firm binding deal internationally by 2015.

See also http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/nov/13/tory-mp-corby-anti-windfarm-film



INTERNATIONAL: CLIMATE SUMMIT AL-ATTIYAH AT BIG OIL TALKS

Just a fortnight before the UN climate talks, Qatari climate leader celebrated with Big Oil chiefs at the Oil & Money 2012 conference in London – a gathering of over 450 senior executives from the fossil fuel industry.

tcktcktck reports:

"Qatari deputy prime minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, president of the UN Climate Change Summit, spoke yesterday at the oil industry event, extolling the virtues of hydrofracking and other new extraction technologies. His comments came just a day after the International Energy Agency released a report saying that no more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if we’re to avoid planetary disaster.  Attiyah also took the time to congratulate the climate wreckers days before he’s supposed to rein them in, presenting the petroleum executive of the year award – an honour he received himself in 2007."


In a quote reminiscent of our own George Osborne, he said the exploitation of unconventional sources of fossil fuels would be good for consumers.

“It’s good news because it gives the world trust and confidence in gas,” he told a TV reporter at the 2012 Oil and Money Conference.

“A few years ago there was uncertainty about enough supply to the world – today the gas will give the world 300 years of security. I believe this is good news and it will give the consumer more trust in gas.”

Good news for consumers maybe... very bad news for the planet and for health.
Nov 9th

Tell rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to get the facts straight on climate change!

By Climate and Health Council

Please support the Union of Concerned Scientists by urging News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch to match his corporation's green pledges with real action. Tell him we aren't entertained by scientific misinformation.

Please make your letter personal by adding in your own thoughts and concerns. Every letter makes a difference, but customized letters have the greatest effect!

Read their snapshot analysis on how Fox News and the Wall Street Journal's opinion pages misrepresent climate science. And watch a video of UCS climate scientist Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel correcting the climate science inaccuracies on a six-foot tall Wall Street Journal op-ed at a New York City rally.


See 
https://secure3.convio.net/ucs/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2601 for more info