Our health, and the health of our planet and society are directly connected.
As we face into the climate crisis, it is evident that this is also a health crisis that needs systemic, interlinked action by the private sector, governments and civil society. That’s why we’ve joined the new Health and Climate Coalition in partnership with international sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future and other leading healthcare businesses.
Coming together to tackle the climate and health crises
The impacts of climate change on health can be both acute and chronic. Severe floods, heat stress or drought can have immediate and devastating impacts on health. Gradual rises in temperature can have longer term impacts, exacerbating both non-transmissible and infectious diseases.
Working alongside the Forum for the Future, Bupa, Haleon and Walgreens Boots Alliance as one Health and Climate Coalition, we will join forces to solve the lack of guidance for businesses on how to leverage their net zero strategies in a way that simultaneously accelerates change across the interlinked challenges of climate and health. Helping us to use our expertise to build awareness and create a positive, lasting impact on society.
To address this gap in guidance, the Health and Climate Coalition is:
- Developing more detailed guidance for private sector action to deliver integrated climate and health strategies
- Creating recommendations for Government, investors and philanthropy to support private sector action
- Encouraging alignment and connection between existing private sector initiatives
- Identifying gaps in research and understanding
- Demonstrating and evidencing the links between climate change and health
- Raising awareness and understanding of these links at key forums such as COP27.
The work of the Health and Climate Coalition will build on the “Driving co-benefits for Climate and Health: How private sector action can accelerate progress” report published during Climate Week NYC 2021, which provides businesses with initial guidance for tackling the climate and health crises simultaneously with integrated net zero strategies.
Put simply, people cannot thrive on a dying planet. There are significant benefits for the private sector to accelerate progress on climate and health by taking a systems lens and developing strategies that can deliver co-benefits. We need to act now to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and adapt to the evolving public health challenges that are already being felt across the globe. The Climate and Health Coalition will be an important catalyst for accelerated private sector action.Dr Sally Uren Chief Executive of the Forum for the Future
What’s next for the Health and Climate Coalition?
In July 2022, the Coalition will be hosting sector-specific roundtables to develop more private sector guidance in areas such as technology, food, healthcare and infrastructure. The guidance will be tested further with key stakeholders at the New York Climate Week in September 2022 and then published in alignment with COP27 in November 2022.
Last year, we commissioned a research review conducted by health experts from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and EcoHealth Alliance. The paper, The Impacts of Climate Change on Health, identifies the extent to which increasing emissions, extreme weather and temperatures elevate health risks, from infectious disease to malnutrition, and assesses the associated health burden. Find out more.