UK Health Alliance on Climate Change

The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change brings together doctors, nurses and other health professionals to advocate for responses to climate change that protect and promote public health.

Free Online Workshops: How can you speak to your patients about air pollution?

The last few months have brought air pollution to the forefront of many people’s minds, as reductions in road travel have resulted in considerable reductions in the levels of some transport-related air pollutants.

Temporarily cleaner air has built strong public support for action to permanently improve air quality across the UK, with over two-thirds supporting stricter legislation to protect environmental and public health (Clean Air Fund/YouGov, 2020).

Acknowledgement of the importance of the advisory role health professionals keep the public safe has also grown, and the Government’s new cycling & walking strategy even sets out plans to encourage doctors to ‘prescribe’ activities like cycling in trial areas.

We believe that health professionals are now uniquely placed to influence public attitudes and behaviour to protect health and help to reduce harmful air pollution.

But how can you start a conversation with your patients about air pollution, and how they can help to protect their own heath by getting on their bike or taking other action?

This September we’ll be holding two more webinars, open to all health professionals who would like to learn more about how they can better advise their patients, and share their learning with colleagues.

These workshops are open those who have not yet been involved in this project (which has been paused for the last few months), as well as those who have already attended a ‘co-design’ or training session but would like a ‘refresher’.

Sign up here, or using this link, to attend one of our two free online workshops!

UKHACC calls for a #HealthyRecovery

Coronavirus has shown the strength of the world’s united health community. But, as we come through this, it’s vital that we don’t lurch from one health crisis to another, driven by climate change and environmental degradation. 

What the world needs is a #HealthyRecovery – one that improves human health, and builds resilience in health systems, and in the environment upon which our health depends.

On behalf of our members, and alongside organisations representing 40 million health professionals across the world, we’re calling for the health of people and the planet to be prioritised in economic recovery packages, and for the continued involvement of the health and scientific community in safeguarding health in the future.

Six Principles

In a collaboration between medical experts amongst our membership, and climate scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, we’ve developed six principles which the UK government must follow in designing and delivering their post-Covid economic recovery package to ensure a #HealthyRecovery.

Read more about these principles below, or view/download them as a pdf, along with our recommendations for priority actions.

An open letter to the Prime Minister

We’ve presented our principles in an open letter to the Prime Minister and the leaders of the devolved nations, as well as to leading figures in the cabinet and opposition. Read the full text here.


Our Principles for a #HealthyRecovery

In order to continue to improve public health, and to mitigate climate change and its health impacts, the UK’s economic recovery package must adhere to the following six principles:

Prioritise health for people & planet. Every decision should be assessed in relation to its impact on health and climate, as much as on the economy. Measures should exceed existing commitments to protecting health and the environment. Let’s strengthen standards, not sacrifice them.

Build a resilient & sustainable economy. Rather than seeking to return to how things were six months ago, the government’s recovery measures must increase the resilience of our economy, and of our key services, social systems, population health and environment.

Accelerate carbon reduction. Recovery must be consistent with the government’s commitment to achieve carbon net-zero in the UK by at least 2050. Rather than simply avoiding carbon intensive sectors, investment must be targeted on low carbon and carbon reduction industries.

Reduce health inequalities. Covid-19 has revealed further health inequalities in the UK, and reminds us that crises do not affect everyone equally. The same is true of climate change. The government take this opportunity to close the gaps through their recovery package.

Follow the science. Recovery should draw on the insights of health and climate scientists, as well as economists. Health professionals have protected our health in the crisis, now the government must engage with them to safeguard it against the growing threat of climate change.

Recovery is everyone’s responsibility. Covid-19 has shown our capacity for collaboration across sectors. Businesses, public services, and communities have all stepped up to respond. Our recovery also needs to draw on all of the talent our country has to offer – not least from the health community.

Read more about our principles and priority actions