A Climate and Health Election?
Although it’s likely that the upcoming election will be dominated by Brexit and the NHS more generally, it also serves as an important opportunity for the UK Health Alliance, its members and supporters to impress upon leaders and candidates of all parties our shared policy recommendations on health and climate change.
Since the last General Election in 2017, Climate Change has significantly risen up the political agenda, and with both main parties now committed to the UK achieving net-zero, it is important that members use every opportunity to maintain the momentum that has gathered.
The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change (UKHACC), represents over 650,000 doctors, nurses and other health professionals advocating for responses to climate change which protect and promote public health.
The cost of climate change
Many of the drivers of climate change – fossil fuel combustion, unhealthy diets and over reliance on motorised transport – harm our health directly, through air pollution, high saturated fat intake and physical inactivity.
> Physical inactivity costs the UK £20bn a year in the treatment of physical and mental illnesses.
> Air pollution costs the UK £22.2bn a year in related health and social care.
> Combined, these costs are equivalent to just under 25% of the UK’s annual expenditure on health and social care.
The policy calls below do not represent all of the positions that the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change has agreed, but we have selected them as some of the most impactful changes that could be made in our three focus areas.