UK Health Alliance on Climate Change Newsletter – December 2018

Welcome to December’s newsletter,

November was certainly a month of reports. In the week that celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Climate Change Act, there were no less than five significant climate change reports published over four days.

UK Climate Projections 2018 stated that the chances of a summer as warm as 2018 will be around 50% by 2050. In the USA, the National Climate Assessment Report made the news for being disbelieved by one or two prominent figures, and the World Meteorological Office State of the Global Climate Report described 2018 as being on course to be the fourth warmest year on record. The 2018 Lancet Countdown Report then warned us that climate change threatens to negate the huge public health gains of the past half century and finally the UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2018 stated that to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement global emissions must peak by 2020.

Amid all this, we ourselves wrote to the Prime Minister asking for government to commit to net-zero green house gas emissions by 2050 which afforded us a small share of the available media space, and more importantly formalised our net-zero policy recommendation for the protection and promotion of public health.

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) then took place in Katowice, Poland with a remit to work out and adopt a package of decisions ensuring the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. Talks went on a little longer than expected, but agreement was finally reached.

Our own 2018 annual report will be published in January, and will appear on our website and in print, with a complete round-up of all this year’s UKHACC activities.

2018 will see a big change to the UKHACC secretariat as we bid farewell to Laurie Laybourn-Langton, who has been our Director since December 2017. Laurie leaves behind him a far stronger, more effective and more prolific organisation than the one he joined, and we wish him every success in his new venture, setting up and leading a new organisation. We will be welcoming Nicky Philpott as our new Director from early January 2019.

Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this such a successful year, we look forward to working with you all again throughout next year.

In the meantime, keep checking  our website and  Twitter for updates, please continue to support us with likes and re-tweets and have a happy and safe holiday season.

Dr Claire McLoughlin, Communications Manager, UK Health Alliance on Climate Change


UK Health Alliance on Climate Change sends all-member letter to PM

The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change wrote to the Prime Minister calling for government to commit to the delivery of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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New US Federal Climate Assessment released

The National Climate Assessment report, released by the United States Global Change Research Program, found that that climate change is affecting human health and welfare, the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, and transport across the USA and its territories.

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UK climate projections released

The UK Climate Projections 2018 study, released by the Met Office in November, provides the most up to date information on how the climate of the UK may change in the period up to the end of the 21st Century.

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Emissions Gap Report 2018

The annual UN Environment Emissions Gap Report is an assessment of current national mitigation efforts and ambitions presented by each country in its Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.

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2018 Lancet Countdown report published

The 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change report was published on 29 November, along with the accompanying briefings for policy makers around the world.  The 2018 global report was produced by 150 experts from 27 universities and institutions including the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.

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UKHACC welcomes its new Director

We are delighted to welcome Nicky Philpott, who joins UKHACC as its new Director on 7 January. Nicky takes over form Laurie Laybourn-Langton who leaves us on 11 January.

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COP24 climate talks end in agreement 

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) drew to a close a little later than expected, but with a global deal on the implementation of  the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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Blog: The paradox of plastic in healthcare This month, we co-author a comment piece on the use of plastics in healthcare with Royal College of Nursing Professional Lead on Infection Prevention and Control, Rose Gallagher MBE. Read more


This vexed question: 500 years of women in medicine

This exhibition is running until 18 January 2019 at the Royal College of Physicians. Visitors will learn about individual women doctors and the attitudes towards them over the 500 years of the RCP’s existence. It features RCP president Professor Dame Jane Dacre’s newly-commissioned portrait alongside Elizabeth Garrett’s qualifying certificate, and 17th century handwritten recipe books next to 20th century oral histories.  More here

Registration now open for BMA public health medicine  conference 2019

The BMA’s 2019 public health medicine conference will take place on Tuesday 5 March 2019 at BMA House, London. It is the BMA’s policy forum for public health doctors. This year’s theme is resilience of public health systems and people. Non-BMA members are welcome to attend.  More here


Business Green, December 2018: From doctors to big business, calls grow for net zero targets

This Business Green review describes a united call for government to commit to net zero targets with reference to the UK health Alliance letter to the PM and quotes from Laurie Laybourn-Langton.

The Lancet, Planetary health, December 2018: Pollution prevention and climate change mitigation: measuring the health benefits of comprehensive interventions

This comment piece describes the widespread effects on human health of pollution and climate change.

The Lancet, Planetary health, December 2018: Implications for workability and survivability in populations exposed to extreme heat under climate change: a modelling study

This study estimates the changes in populations exposed to excessive heat stress between the recent past.

The Lancet, Planetary health, November 2018: Sunscreens, cancer, and protecting our planet

This comment explores the the potential environmental effects of currently available sunscreen, while advocating for advocating for skin cancer prevention.

Visit our Resource Library for more resources on health and climate change.


Vote for your favourite public health image

At the beginning of the Summer, FPH launched a photo competition challenging FPH members, the wider public health community and photographers to take a photo that brings to life what ‘public health looks like’. Vote for your favourite five of 29 shortlisted entries. Voting closes on 11 January.

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