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Climate Change in the UK: What will be the impact on health and the NHS?

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Macmillan Room, Portcullis House

Houses of Parliament

London

United Kingdom

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"Climate change isn’t just hurting the planet – it’s a public health emergency."

That's the conclusion of Christiana Figueres, Chair of the Lancet Countdown, a collaborative research project which published a report on 31 October 2017 that has shone a light on the damaging impacts that climate change is having on our health.

In order to discuss this public health crisis in further detail - and to explore what we can do about it - the Lancet Countdown have teamed up with the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, the APPG on Climate Change and the APPG on Health, in order to host a panel discussion on the impact of climate change and health.

Chairs:

  • Daniel Zeichner MP, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group

  • Baroness Walmsley, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group and former Lib Dem Lords Spokesperson (Health)

Speakers:

  • Dr Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet

  • Prof. Hugh Montgomery, co-chair of the Lancet Countdown and Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, UCL

  • Prof. Georgina Mace, report co-author and Head of the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, UCL

  • Prof. Sir Andy Haines, report co-author and former Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine



Synposis:

One might not, automatically, associate climate change with worsening population health, but there is now very strong evidence of the potentially catastrophic links between climate change and health. Whilst the most disadvantaged countries and vulnerable people will be the worst affected, especially those already living with chronic health conditions, every country will be affected with all populations exposed to the health impacts associated with climate change. Indeed, the World Health Organisation estimates that between 2030 and 2050, climate change will cause 250,000 additional deaths, each year, around the world - from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

The impact of climate change is already being felt in the UK and Europe. According to a recent study by scientists at the European Commission Joint Research Centre, an additional 152,000 people could die each year in Europe by 2100, if nothing is done to curb the effects of climate change.

However, although climate change poses significant risks to human health and wellbeing, addressing climate change also presents enormous opportunities to improve health and save money. Indeed, an effective response to climate change could profoundly improve the health of populations today and into the future. For the UK, addressing climate change and its associated health impacts now could save the NHS huge sums of money, as well as promoting robust, sustainable and effective health care across the UK.

In association with The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change - which brings together Britain’s major health institutions - and the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change - an international, multidisciplinary research collaboration tracking progress on health and climate change across the globe - the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change, are holding a joint meeting to look at how climate change is affecting the UK today, and how health and care services need to prepare for it.

The meeting comes after the Lancet Countdown publishes, in October 2017, its in-depth analysis of how climate change is affecting all countries around the world, including the UK. This paper reports on 40 indicators on health and climate change, which are grouped into five thematic working groups: climate change impacts, exposures and vulnerability; adaptation planning and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; economic and finance; and public and political engagement. The Lancet Countdown has also produced a UK National Brief in association with the Royal College Physicians, which investigates the health impacts of climate change in the UK and the policy implications of this.

To discuss this important issue, we are delighted to be joined by a distinguished panel of experts from the worlds of both climate change and health, in a meeting chaired jointly by Parliamentarians from the APPGs on Climate Change and Health.

We do hope you will be able to join us for this landmark event in Parliament.

Date and Time

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Macmillan Room, Portcullis House

Houses of Parliament

London

United Kingdom

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