HEAL’s action on climate and energy

A 30% emissions reduction target could save public health billions
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Although health concerns are not yet central to climate discussions, the health benefits of climate action are increasingly recognised as a fundamental driver for climate policies both at EU and international level.

Following the last round of international climate change negotiations in Cancun in December 2010, climate change measures continue to be on the EU agenda. The EU’s discussions include further analysis of a higher EU green house emissions reduction target of 30% from 1990 levels (rather than the currently proposed 20% reduction), work on energy efficiency and incorporating adaptation and mitigation approaches into other EU policies.

Investment in public health is important for economic development. Improvements in health mean that not only will people live longer, but that they will spend much of their lives free from climate change-induced and related diseases and disabilities. This is particularly important within the context of an aging European population and rising healthcare costs.

At the same time, measures to adapt to climate change will have to put public health at the centre, to recognise the many ways that climate change impacts our health.

HEAL is working with partner organisations and the World Health Organisation to bring the voice of the health community and new health evidence to decision-makers. We will do this by focusing on the health benefits of climate change measures as well as impacts of extreme weather events on vulnerable groups.


Previous News on our policy work

Lifting Europe’s Dark Cloud: How cutting coal saves lives
Effective emissions limits could save thousands of lives every year, yet more than half of coal power stations in Europe are operating with ’permission to pollute’ above limits set in EU law. These are the finding in a new report by HEAL, EEB, WWF, CAN Europe and Sandbag. Read more…

Paris Climate Agreement to enter into force on 4 November
The global agreement on climate change mitigation, the Paris Agreement is to enter into force on 4 November 2016 after recent ratification by the EU. Read more…

HEAL on the road to COP22
As the world is still rejoicing over the strong COP21 Paris climate agreement, HEAL and its members are already engaging with the health community to keep up the strong call for health in climate negotiations at COP22 in Marrakesh. Read more…

Lifting Europe’s Dark Cloud: How cutting coal saves lives
Effective emissions limits could save thousands of lives every year, yet more than half of coal power stations in Europe are operating with ’permission to pollute’ above limits set in EU law. These are the finding in a new report by HEAL, EEB, WWF, CAN Europe and Sandbag. Read more…

Paris Climate Agreement to enter into force on 4 November
The global agreement on climate change mitigation, the Paris Agreement is to enter into force on 4 November 2016 after recent ratification by the EU. Read more…

HEAL on the road to COP22
As the world is still rejoicing over the strong COP21 Paris climate agreement, HEAL and its members are already engaging with the health community to keep up the strong call for health in climate negotiations at COP22 in Marrakesh. Read more…

Delay in phase out of health-harming fossil fuel subsides as G20 leaders meet
At their summit in early September, the G20 failed to agree on a timeline to phase out inefficient health-harming fossil fuel subsidies, missing an opportunity to prevent ill health and meet the COP21 Paris climate goals. Read more…

HEAL joins coal and health working meeting in Russia
On 8 September HEAL participated in a working meeting organised by Pacific Environment on the issue of coal and public health in Vladivostok, Russia. Read more…

Open letter to German health minister on benefits of climate action
HEAL recently sent an open letter to the German Health Minister Hermann Groehe highlighting the opportunity for disease prevention from Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 which is currently in consultation between ministries. Read more…

WHO working group meeting: Building capacity for climate action to benefit health
On 23-24 June, HEAL’s Health and Climate Change Coordinator attended the fifth meeting of the WHO working group on health in climate change (HIC). HEAL is an active member of this group which acts as a catalyst in promoting the implementation of the climate change and health commitments of the Parma Ministerial declaration. Read more…

Implementation of G20 commitment to phase­out fossil fuel subsidies
A statement, representing over 200 civil society organisations including HEAL, urged G20 governments to establish a deadline for the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies and public finance for fossil fuels at the 2016 G20 summit. Read more…

Success in advocating for health and climate with the Energy Community reform
HEAL’s years long extensive advocating for the reform of the Energy Community Treaty leveraged one more success in the Western Balkans recently. The Energy Community brings together the EU, and countries from the South East Europe and Black Sea region. Read more…

Turkey: Health evidence contributes to preventing new coal plant
HEAL in Turkey recently participated in an event with the Adana Chamber of Medicine, Adana Legal Bar and Chamber of Agriculture Engineers to discuss legal action against the building of seven coal plants in this south-eastern region of Turkey. Read more…

HEAL webinar: Climate change through a health lens in Serbia
As part of HEAL’s continuing engagement with medical professionals in the Balkans region, a webinar recently took place to discuss the links between climate change and health, with a special focus on the work of the Ministry of Health in Serbia in managing and mitigating the consequences of climate change. Read more…

Book launch: Why women will save the planet
On the occasion of a book launch of ‘Why Women Will Save the Planet’ by Friends of the Earth Europe, HEAL’s Executive Director was invited to speak about the importance of health in the climate debate and how to build awareness of the links between gender equality and environmental protection. Read more…

Germany: Climate mitigation is win-win for public health
HEAL co-organised a workshop on climate change and adapation at the annual meeting of the German Society of Hygiene, Environmental and Public Health Sciences (GHUP). HEAL’s Julia Huscher spoke on the policy opportunities for the German health sector to engage in, and shared a new HEAL publication on health co-benefits of climate action. Read more…

Call to European ministers to ensure EU’s largest climate instrument is fit for purpose
Health and environmental groups call on European ministers to maintain the momentum created in Paris by ensuring that the upcoming 2030 Effort Sharing Decision results in effective climate action in the transport, buildings, agriculture, small industry and waste sectors. Read more…

HEAL in Turkey: Break free from fossil fuels
At the beginning of May, thousands of people all across the world joined the call to break free from our fossil fuel addition. In Turkey, HEAL supported a gathering to end Turkey’s coal rush which brought together over 2,000 people.Read more…

Call for higher ambition ahead of signing of Paris Agreement
Today, over 150 countries will sign the Paris Agreement, keeping the momentum on climate action. HEAL and the members of the Coalition for Higher Ambition urged EU Heads of State and governments to continue to show leadership as they were setting off to New York. Read more…

German doctors calling for divestment from fossil fuels
Following the examples of several international medical groups, a coalition of German doctors now calls for the divestment of doctor’s pension funds. Read more…

UK Health Alliance on climate change
HEAL welcomes the setup of the new UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, which aims to encourage better approaches to tackling climate change that protect and promote public health, whilst also reducing the burden on health services. Read more…

NCD and climate change – shared opportunities for action
Today, over 150 countries will sign the Paris Agreement, keeping the momentum on climate action. HEAL and the members of the Coalition for Higher Ambition urged EU Heads of State and governments to continue to show leadership as they were setting off to New York. Read more…

Call for Higher Climate Ambition in Europe
A major new coalition of businesses, cities, trade unions and non-profit organisations, including HEAL, are calling on EU leaders to live up to their Paris climate commitments. Read more…

HEAL in Turkey: Toolkit for a “healthy energy” future
February saw the launch of a toolkit on coal power generation and health to support local health professionals and community groups in Turkey to prevent new coal plants being built. The toolkit, available in English and Turkish focuses on the south-eastern part of the country, Iskenderun Bay, where pollution from 16 plants in the pipeline would increase the already existing health burden. Read more…

Germany: Conference on soot and other climate-related pollutants
: Julia Huscher, HEAL’s Senior Coal and Health Officer, was a speaker at the final conference of the Soot Free for the Climate project in Berlin, presenting on the health effects of so-called short lived climate pollutants. Reducing these air pollutants would bring benefits for both public health and the climate. Read more…

Germany consults on climate ambition and measures for 2050
After launching a plan of climate mitigation measures in 2014 tailored to reach a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, the German government is currently preparing a long-term plan for climate action until 2050. Read more…

Healthy Energy Initiative appears in peer reviewed journal
HEAL’s Executive Director Genon K. Jensen is a co-author of a Healthy Energy Initiative article ‘From Extraction to Renewal: A Global Campaign for Healthy Energy’, published in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy. Read more…

Show the love: Global Divestment Day
February 12 and 13 will see calls from all over the globe for ending investment into fossil fuels. Divestment from fossil fuels will be a key step to making the Paris agreement a reality. Read more…

Construction permit for Polish power plant revoked
The Polish province of Pommerania has revoked the construction permit for the future 1.6 GW Polnoc power plant in the North of Poland. Evidence on health costs provided by HEAL contributed to this decision. Read more…

COP21: Tackling climate change means boosting health
The health community welcomes the agreement of COP21 as a solid stepping stone for future action. HEAL worked hard to bring the health concerns to the climate debate, especially to ensure that every policy, investment or intervention to cope with climate change are those with significant health co-benefits. Read more…

Turkey: Promoting integration of health evidence in energy decisions
The Iskenderun Bay region in Turkey faces a huge health challenge with plans to build around 20 new coal-fired power plants. A state court recently ruled that cumulative impact assessments need to be carried out for all new projects, to assess the total burden from pollution. Read more…

Call for Action on climate delivered to German Health Minister Groehe
50 organisations and individuals from the German health sector including HEAL are urging the German government to take more decisive action to protect our health from climate change, including to develop a national phase out plan for coal power generation. Read more…

HEAL Letter to the Editor - How to Deliver the Most Important Public Health Treaty of the Century
In her Letter to the Editor in the Annals of Global Health, HEAL’s Executive Director argues that the Paris climate talks offer an extraordinary public health opportunity that should not be squandered and puts forth 5 Prescriptions for a Healthy Future to COP21 climate negotiators. Read more...

On the road to COP21
HEAL will be in Paris in a few weeks for the international climate negotiations, with an official delegation and side events. Don’t forget to register for the Climate and Health Summit on 5 December, where HEAL is the local organising partner, and sign up to WHO’s Call to Action. Read more…

Health groups call to end fossil fuel subsidies
On 14 November, civil society organisations from all over the world, including HEAL, issued an urgent call to end all public financing for fossil fuels. HEAL works closely with Turkish health groups, and the call came on the eve of the G20 leaders Summit in Turkey. Read more…

HEAL promotes Lancet Commission’s findings on health and climate change in Germany
Climate and health experts, policy makers and journalists had an opportunity to learn more about important health arguments that support ambitious climate action at an event organised by HEAL this week, on the occasion of the World Health Summit, to which HEAL is a civil society partner. Read more…

HEAL invites signatures to German Call for Action on climate and health
Over the next weeks HEAL will be collecting signatures in support of a Call for Action on climate and health, which is directed at the German government. Seven recommendations, how health protection and climate mitigation can be promoted jointly, will be handed over to the German minister for health. Read more…

HEAL supports call to G20 Finance Ministers to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies
In the lead-up to the G20 Summit in November, 66 civil society organisations, including HEAL, call on the G20 finance ministers and the Turkish G20 Presidency to advance commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and support ambitious climate action. Turkey should particularly hear this call as 80 new coal power plants are in the pipeline. Read more…

Impacts of coal on health in Serbia highlighted
In an interview for the ‘Open School Belgrade’ in Serbia, Vlatka Matkovic Puljic, HEAL’s Project Coordinator on Energy and Health for South and Central East European countries, highlights public health threats from coal and Serbia’s climate change ambition. Read more…

Turkey: Using health evidence in coal lawsuit
Citizens of Bursa, the fourth biggest city in Turkey, are concerned about their health as a new coal-fired power plant is planned in order to supply power to the factories in the area. Recent measurements in the city show that the air quality is critical or unhealthy. Read more…

EUPHA Workshop on coal and health with public health specialists
HEAL will actively participate at the 8th European Public Health (EPH) Conference from 14-17 October, with a workshop on the external health costs of coal power generation and prevention opportunities. Read more…

New HEAL webinars on climate change and health
In the run-up to the international climate negotiations this December, HEAL is organising a series of webinars entitled “COP21: Perspectives on how climate action can benefit health”. This month, a webinar in English and one in French focused on health sector engagement in the climate negotiations. Read more…

Online training module on energy and health available in German
HEAL together with the German Medical Association and the Society for Hygiene, Environmental and Public Health Sciences (GHUP) have published an online reader on energy and health, based on presentations during an expert workshop in Berlin in 2014. Topics include shale gas, coal power, wind turbines and electricity grid lines. Read more...

Medics offer a healthy boost for a stronger Paris climate agreement
HEAL welcomes the conclusion of the renowned Lancet Commission on health and climate change 2015 that ‘tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century’.
Read more…

HEAL participates in Paris events on climate and health
Six months ahead of COP21, HEAL is actively involved in several conferences on health and climate change taking place in and around the city. Read more…

HEAL webinar series on the road to Paris
In the run-up to the international climate negotiations this December, HEAL is organising a series of webinars entitled ’’COP21: Perspectives on how climate action can benefit health’’. The next webinar on 8 September will present good practice from the health sector to mitigate climate change. Read more…

French declaration on strengthening health in climate negotiations
The French Public Health Association, the French Society of Environmental Health and the French Medical Council, supported by several European and international health associations, including HEAL demand a greater focus on health during COP21 later this year. Read more…

HEAL supports ‘More than Energy’ initiative in Poland
‘More than Energy’ is a nation-wide coalition in Poland, made up of local governments, institutions, NGOs and individuals, wishing to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy sources. HEAL in Poland is a partner of this initiative. Read more…

Climate commitments of South-Eastern Europe countries
Members and partners of the SEE SEP network including HEAL urged governments of the region to act promptly and put forward ambitious and fair climate commitments for the Paris Climate conference. HEAL’s Vlatka Matkovic Puljic highlighted the unique opportunity to improve health through strong climate contributions. Read more…

The Health Benefits of Tackling Climate Change
Find out how climate action is good for your health in a new article by HEAL’s President Peter van den Hazel of the organisation INCHES - International Network on Children’s Health, Environment and Safety (INCHES). Read more…

HEAL on the road to COP21
As momentum is gathering for the international climate negotiations in Paris this December, HEAL is engaging the health community to put pressure on governments ahead of this important milestone. Read more…

Citizens call for end of coal as support for Germany’s climate plans grows
On 25 April citizens formed a human chain along an open pit mine in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany, to call for the shift away from coal and a just energy transition. HEAL supports the German government plans to further cut CO2 emissions from the power section as it is positive news for both the climate and health. Read more…

Germany’s new energy instrument would mean better health
The government’s plans to increase efforts to cut CO2 emissions from the power sector have been met with fierce resistance. In letters to chancellor Merkel, economic minister Gabriel and health minister Groehe, HEAL and member WECF underline that these plans are not only good news for the climate, but also for health, and they should not be weakened. Read more…

UK faces European court over coal plant emissions
Figures released from HEAL on the health costs of coal power in the UK have been used with regards to a plant in the UK which faces the European count over its emissions. Read more…

New report on benefits of more ambitious climate action include health and jobs
HEAL welcomes a new report elaborated by the New Climate Institute with support from Climate Action Network (CAN), assessing the co-benefits of more ambitious climate action, which means better health. Read more…

Kolkata Call to Action: World’s public health leaders advocate for an end to coal
HEAL welcomes the Kolkata Call to Action released at the 14th World Congress on Public Health in India. Read more…

Geneva climate talks end with draft global agreement
HEAL welcomes the inclusion of health in a new draft version of the global climate agreement, adopted by delegates from almost 200 countries. Read more…

His Royal Highness speaks out on the health benefits of climate action
A joint event to discuss health sector engagement in the run up to the UN climate negotiations in Paris, involved His Royal Highness Prince Charles’ International Sustainability Unit and the WHO, hosted by the Royal Society. Read more…

NGOs call for ending of public export credits for coal
HEAL teamed up with climate and environmental groups to express concerns about a recent EU Commission proposal on export credits for coal. With the COP in Paris coming up, the EU Commission should show credibility and consistency on climate mitigation. Read more…

Scotland agrees moratorium on fracking, UK steams ahead
Scotland’s moratorium on fracking and Wales’ motion not to agree to fracking until its safety is proven are steps in the right direction to prevent the environmental and health impacts of shale gas. However a majority of MPs refused to back proposals for a UK-wide moratorium.Read more…

Health community commitment brings gains in Lima
Participants at the Climate and Health Summit, organised alongside the official UN climate negotiations in Lima (UNFCCC COP20) heard that the health community’s strong engagement on climate change is increasingly acknowledged by international negotiators. Read more…

Cleaner air would offer major health benefits in the Balkans
Three briefings released by HEAL highlight the heavy toll on health resulting exposure to poor air quality in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro. Energy production and use is of particular concern as a source of air pollution. Read more…

Climate and Health Summit 2014
This year’s Climate and Health Summit organised by the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA), of which HEAL is a member takes place alongside the official UN International Climate negotiations (UNFCCC COP20) in Peru, Lima. Read more…

2030 climate targets should be increased for health protection
EU leaders recently endorsed the climate and energy targets for 2030. A binding EU target of an at least 40% will be insufficient to keep global warming in the 2 degree path or to achieve the EU objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050. Read more…

German medical association debates health in energy transition

HEAL co-hosted an expert seminar on health in the German energy transition, together with the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer), the largest doctors network in Germany; and the German Society of Hygiene, Environmental and Public Health Sciences (GHUP). Read more…

Open letter to UN Secretary General on fracking

On the eve of the international day of action to ban fracking on 11 October, over 250 groups from 40 countries including HEAL, signed a letter urging UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon to reject fracking as part of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4AII). Read more…

Green Climate Fund should exclude financing of fossil fuels

HEAL has signed on to a letter asking the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to exclude the financing of fossil fuels and other harmful energy projects or programs. Read more…

HEAL at UN Climate Summit

On 22 and 23 September, HEAL joined health groups, civil society and world leaders in New York for a landmark UN Climate Summit. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming. Read more…

Civil society call to action at WHO Health and Climate Summit

The Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) and its members including HEAL, congratulated the WHO on their vision and leadership in convening the Health and Climate Summit in August, an historic event which brought together policy makers, health professionals, academics and civil society representatives from around the world. Read more…

EU’s 30 most dirty coal polluters revealed

A new joint report by CAN Europe, WWF, EEB, HEAL and Klima Allianz Germany reveals the top 30 CO2-polluting coal power plants in the EU and how these emissions are undermining climate efforts and harming public health. Read more…

Joint letter to Japanese coal power plant investor in Poland

HEAL in Poland, together with 16 environmental and health Polish NGOs, have signed a joint letter to the potential investor (Mitsui & Co) of the Czeczott coal power plant in southern Poland, to reconsider its involvement in the project. Read more…

Poland: HEAL co-organises air quality meeting in Zakopane

In May, HEAL together with Client Earth Poland, Polish Green Network (Polska Zielona Sieć) and Made in Zakopane co-organised a public meeting on air quality in Zakopane, Poland. Read more…

Health cost of planned coal power plant in Poland

HEAL provided expertise input regarding the planned coal fired power plant in Stara Wieś, Łęczna, and highlighted the need to comprehensively assess potential health costs. Read more…

Likely health effects of planned coal power plant in Stade

Local groups organised a panel discussion in the northern German town of Stade to discuss plans to build a coal fired power plant. Julia Huscher, HEAL’s Senior Coal and Health Officer, provided expertise on health implications to the 80 participants of the event. Read more…

Annoucement of closure of Austrian coal plant

Following the launch of a study on the health impacts of Austrian coal-fired power plants by environmental NGO Global2000 and HEAL, the closure of one of Austria’s three plants was announced. Read more...

Health costs of coal power generation in Austria

HEAL, its member, the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (Austria), and environmental organisation GLOBAL2000 presented a study showing that air pollution from three remaining coal power plants in Austria causes health costs of 194 million EUR per year. Their phase out should now be a public health priority. Read more…

EU extends life of Europe’s biggest polluter while IPCC calls for coal phase out

The EU Commission’s February decision to allow a Polish state owned energy company to continue operating two outdated production units at Europe’s largest coal power plant is being challenged by several public interest and legal groups. Read more…

HEAL at event in Poland on environmental pollution and health effects

In April HEAL participated in a conference at the Military Institute of Medicine in Warsaw focusing on the link between environmental pollution and increased rates of heart and lung diseases in Poland. Read more...

Health costs of the planned Czeczott power plant in Poland

HEAL warns that the construction of a new power plant in the region of Silesia-Czeczott - could lead to annual health costs of at least 30 million EUR. A comprehensive health impact assessment should be carried out. Read more...

Health and medical organisations call for climate action in IPCC report

On 31 March the second working group of the IPCC launched their report for policymakers on impacts of climate change, vulnerability and adaptation. For the first time the health co-benefits of climate action were a special focus. Read more…

EU must lead on climate action says Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on EU leaders in Brussels to speed up the adoption of new 2030 climate and energy targets and lead the global effort against climate change. He highlighted that health was particularly at risk from climate change. Read more…

HEAL and EEB request EU Commission to review Polish pollution exemptions

HEAL and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) have submitted a request for internal review of an EU Commission decision regarding Polish emission exemptions. These are considered to be conflicting with ambient air quality standards for the protection of health. Read more…

EU decision to allow greater pollution of Polish power plants puts health of citizens at risk

Health groups expressed concern after a recent EU Commission decision granting Polish power plants more time to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Read more…

Joint contribution to Energy Community Treaty revision consultation

Civil society organisations urge decision-makers to consider better environmental and public health impacts when integrating energy markets. The revision of the Energy Community Treaty, which brings together the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova is an opportunity to rectify this problem. Read more…

The return of coal: German TV documentary

HEAL’s coal and health officer recently appeared in a German TV documentary on the health impacts related to coal-fired power plants. Read more…

New coal power units in Opole, Poland raise health concerns

Following lively discussions, the Polish government recently gave the official go ahead for the construction of new coal power units in Opole, in southern Poland. Read more…

HEAL reacts to Commission’s proposal on EU 2030 climate and energy policy

The EU Commission’s White Paper on its 2030 climate and energy policy released in January failed to reap greater health co-benefits for its EU citizens. Read more…

Open door for increased pollution from industrial plants

The EU Commission has agreed to exempt six countries from stricter emission limits for power plants, a setback to improve air quality in Europe. Only the Transnational National Plans of Spain and the UK were rejected. Read more…

Disappointment at lack of EU action on shale gas

The EU Commission has backed away from legislation on fracking and instead, issued ‘minimum principles’. HEAL expresses disappointment at this lack of action despite the health and environmental impacts of fracking. Read more…

UK parliament urged to recognise health costs of coal

On 2 December HEAL released new figures on health impacts in the UK associated with air pollution from coal-fired power plants. The timing of the release coincided with an important debate on the future of coal power generation in the House of Commons on 4 December. Yet, the amendment which would have forced an earlier closure of highly polluting, old coal power plants and which had the support of the House of Lords was defeated. Read more…

External health cost of coal power plants presented at conference in Lubin, Poland

HEAL’s coal and health adviser in Poland recently participated at a conference in Lubin focusing his presentation on the external health costs of coal power plants in Poland. Read more...

Last month the Center for Ecology and Energy (CEE) organised the presentation of a study on the health impacts of coal fired power generation in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is estimated that health impacts here are valued at €99 million/year. Read more...

HEAL’s Unpaid Health Bill launched in Romania

On 9 December HEAL launched the Romanian version of The Unpaid Health Bill at a press briefing in Bucharest. HEAL’s report shows that annual health costs due to coal pollution in Romania are the second highest in EU at 6.4 billion EUR. Read more...

Health and medical organisations convene successful Climate and Health Summit in Warsaw

On 16 November the 2nd International Climate and Health Summit took place in Warsaw alongside the official COP19 climate negotiations. The Summit was organised by the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) together with the World Medical Association and the WHO. HEAL is a founding member of the Alliance and the local convening partner of the Summit. Read more…

HEAL promotes health benefits at COP19

During the COP19 climate negotiations in Warsaw earlier this month, HEAL’s delegation successfully brought forward the messages from the health and medical professionals and representatives of patients’ organisations into the climate debate. Read more…

Cough4coal: HEAL’s work inspires creative action in Berlin and Warsaw

An eight metre tall set of inflatable pink lungs were recently created by artist Artur van Balen as a tool for the international Cough4Coal campaign, which made an appearance outside a Coal and Climate Summit in Warsaw. Medical students, NGOs and the general public public joined the ‘people before coal’ protect, and HEAL provided expertise on the health impacts of coal during the development phase of the campaign. Read more…

HEAL speaks to Parliamentarians about health impacts of climate change

On 6 November HEAL Executive Director Genon K. Jensen spoke about the climate impacts on health at a European Parliament event hosted by CAN Europe, Globe EU and Climate Parliament. Read more

HEAL responds to EU consultation on 2030 climate and energy package

HEAL responded to a recent EU consultation to feed into the Commission’s on-going preparations for more concrete proposals for the 2030 legislative framework which will be presented by the end of 2013. Read more …

HEAL recently sent a letter to members of the ENVI committee in the European Parliament calling on them to support the Zanoni Report which modifies the EIA Directive to address the exploration and extraction in Europe of shale gas and other unconventional hydrocarbons. Read more …

HEAL meets public health stakeholders and civil society in Poland

From 26 – 30 August HEAL met with public health stakeholders in Warsaw as well as with energy policy experts from Polish civil society. The visit marked the start of a new HEAL project in Poland to highlight the links between air pollution, energy and people’s health. Read more …

HEAL as local partner at the second Climate and Health Summit - Join us!

On 16 November the second Climate and Health Summit will take place in parallel to the UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, Poland. HEAL will act as a local convening partner for the Summit. Read more …

The seed for a Global Power Shift in Istanbul

HEAL was invited to speak on coal-fired power plants and health during a recent Summit on the Global Power Shift in Istanbul. The conference brought together organisations from around the world to build new alliances and share skills and resources for a strengthened climate movement. Read more…

HEAL at EU Sustainable Energy week

HEALer Anne Stauffer participated in a panel debate on the EU’s energy policies after 2020 and highlighted the external health costs of our energy decisions. Read more…

New toolkit on health costs of climate adaptation and report on preventing health effects of flooding

The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe has launched a new tool for national authorities to help estimate the health costs of climate change adaptation measures in various sectors as well as a report on flooding and health. Read more…

HEAL the first health champion to demand: End the age of coal

When organisations from around the world declared 29th June the global day of action to End the Age of Coal HEAL was the first health organisation to join the pledge. Read more…

The Unpaid Health Bill launched in Poland

Burning coal in power plants in Poland results in health costs of up to 8.2 billion every year, according to HEAL’s latest report now available in Polish. The report launched at a press conference in Warsaw, reveals for the first time the monetary health costs of health for Poland. Read more...

WHO, climate change and health

Ahead of a high-level meeting of the World Health Organisation, HEAL teamed up with the Climate and Health Alliance, Climate and Health Council and other health professional organisations for a letter to the WHO Director General. Groups recall the Doha Declaration on Climate, Health and Wellbeing, and stress how important it is that all WHO member states take action on climate change. Read more...

Which future for EU climate policy?

The public consultation on the 2030 framework for climate and energy policies is still open for comments. Stakeholders are encouraged to share their views on the EU’s climate emission reductions, energy savings and renewables. Read more…

The Unpaid Health Bill launched in Germany

Coal power plants in Germany are associated with health costs of more than 6 billion EUR per year. This is one of the findings on how coal pollution contributes to ill-health and death from the recent HEAL report “The Unpaid health bill”. The German version has now been launched with a press conference in Berlin. Read more…

Health risks from climate change highlighted in joint letter to the WHO Director General
On 14 May, health organisations representing health and health-promotion professionals and health care institutions from around the world, wrote to the Director General of the WHO highlighting the urgent concerns of the health and medical professionals and health care workers in relation to the health risks from climate change. Read more...

The Unpaid Health Bill launched in Germany

Coal power plants in Germany are associated with health costs of more than 6 billion EUR per year. This is one of the findings on how coal pollution contributes to ill-health and death from the recent HEAL report “The Unpaid health bill”. The German version has now been launched with a press conference in Berlin. Read more…

Study estimates health impact of coal-fired power plants in India

A recent study shows that emissions from coal-fired power stations in India have a worrisome effect on ill-health and death. Two thirds of India’s electricity is produced by coal based power plants. Read more…

Changing your behaviour can help reduce climate emissions

A new report put together by the EU Commission highlights the potential of behavioural change for tackling climate change. A healthier diet and replacing fossil fuel cars with more sustainable modes of transport can make significant contributions to reducing emissions. Read more…

EU Green Paper on 2030 framework for climate and energy policies

On 27 March, the European Commission published a Green Paper on "A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies". This paper launches a public consultation open until 2 July. Read more...

Tctcktck interview with HEALer Julia Huscher on recent coal report

Following the recent launch of HEAL’s coal report, Tcktcktck, the public campaign of the Global Call for Climate Action caught up with Julia Huscher, HEAL’s Coal and Health Officer. Julia discussed HEAL’s mandate on coal and health, and how the EU can be a world leader in addressing this issue. Read more...

‘The Climate Bonus: Co-benefits of Climate Policy’

Cleaner air, better health and a more efficient economy are some of the many co-benefits from investing in climate mitigation explains environmental policy expert Alison Smith in her new book ‘The Climate Bonus’. HEAL believes the assessment is food for thought for the upcoming deliberations on the 2030 climate and energy framework. Read more …

Canadian doctors urged to fight climate change

Medical professionals in Canada are looking into how climate change can lead to various public health problems. A recent editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal lays out this latest evidence and urges doctors to become more vocal in demanding climate action. Read more …

Cutting soot mitigates climate change more than previously thought

Black carbon - otherwise known as soot - has been ranked as the second-largest contributor to climate change, exerting twice as much of an impact as previously thought, according to a new UN sponsored analysis. Cutting soot emissions would have significant benefits for public health and the climate. Read more...

Global health community united in call for climate action

At the UN climate talks COP18 in Doha, Qatar last week, HEAL with other health organisations from around the world released a statement on the health benefits of taking action on climate change. The Doha Declaration on Climate, Health and Well-being, signed by more than 50 organisations and almost 2000 individuals calls on governments to recognise that a carbon intensive economy and changing climate contributes to major health problems and increased mortality rates. Read more …

European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes alarming assessment of Europe’s vulnerability to climate change

EEA report findings showcase how climate change is already contributing to disease and premature death in Europe. HEAL believes that this report – which also projects substantial costs to health for the future – should bring a greater sense of urgency to EU climate policy in terms of increasing the EU level of ambition. Read more …

Health impacts of coal power plants in the German-Polish region Lusatia

HEAL issued a briefing on the health impacts of coal power plants in the Polish-German border region at an event hosted by the regional chapter of Marburger Bund, a medical doctors association with over 110,000 members in Germany. Read more …

UK reports the health impacts from climate change

The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) has published a special report on the health impacts of climate change in the United Kingdom. It features new climate projections and estimates health impacts from a changing climate due to heat waves, air pollution, floods, water and insect-borne diseases. For heat waves alone the death toll could multiply by six by the end of the century. Read more …

BMA launches flagship report on healthy transport

In a key report launched this summer entitled Healthy transport = Healthy lives, the British Medical Association (BMA) makes a case for improved transport systems that benefit health and contribute to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. HEAL greets the report as further evidence for decision makers to integrate health in transport policy decisions. Read more …

EU debates measures for climate change adaptation
Climate change will have an impact on the environment and on human health. The EU Commissioner for Climate is developing an EU Adaptation Strategy and asked for public input. HEAL took this opportunity to offer comments and tools and also supported other organizations with their submission. Learn more …

Health impacts from coal power plants in Europe
HEAL is becoming increasingly concerned about scientific findings on the health impacts from coal plants, and has started to bring together reports and case studies in order to raise awareness with politicians and the general public on this problematic energy form. Learn more…

Australian co-benefits report prominently mentions HEAL & HCWH Acting NOW! Report
A new report puts the spotlight on co-benefits of climate change mitigation to be reaped for Australia. It effectively reframes the current discussions from climate costs to climate benefits, particularly for people’s health and healthcare systems. Learn more …

WHO conference on climate change and health: Lessons learnt in the European Region
HEAL gave a presentation and led a working group on raising awareness for climate change and health at the WHO European Region workshop from 4-6 June 2012. The meeting brought together representatives of 53 countries to discuss progress made and current needs of the health sector in climate change adaptation as well as the potential contribution of the health sector in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more …

EU Energy Efficiency Directive: an opportunity for health and climate protection

Prior to the final negotiations on the EU Energy Efficiency Directive HEAL sent a letter to energy and health ministers arguing that the EED provides a vital opportunity to close the gap to the 20% target, but must be made considerably more ambitious than the Council currently foresees. At present rates of progress, the EU will miss its target to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020 by at least half. This would mean missing out on a great many direct and indirect health-related co-benefits, linked to better air quality and less fuel poverty. Learn more …

Danish presidency event on health and climate

Danish health minister, Astrid Krag expressed great concern about the existing burden of disease that is linked to environmental pollution at a meeting organised during the Danish Presidency in Copenhagen on 25 April 2012. She said that fighting air pollution was an important instrument to decrease the burden for asthma patients. Learn more...


Previous Action taken

Endorse the Doha Declaration on Climate, Health and Well-being: Health must be central to climate action

Health and medical organisations from around the world signed a declaration for the Doha climate negotiations on how to better protect and promote our health. Get involved by signing on as an individual or as an organisation concerned about climate change and health. Sign the Declaration here!

Public consultation on the Green Paper ´A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies
The Green Paper published on 27 March by the EC launches a public consultation - Deadline 2 July 2013

Spread the WHO advice and action plans on European severe heat-wave
With parts of the European Region are experiencing extreme heat-waves this summer and this threatens the health of many people, particularly the elderly and patients with chronic disease, the WHO has now published advice to prevent health effects and ultraviolet exposure. Get the advice and share it - Act now!

Respond to the EU consultation on climate adaptation

The EU Commission has launched a public consultation that seeks to collect opinions from citizens, organisations and experts in the field of adaptation to climate change with a view to getting additional information for the preparation of the EU Adaptation Strategy. This Consultation on the Preparation of the EU Adaptation Strategy includes 20 questions covering aspects such as which groups might be most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, how the private sector should its actions, how member states should facilitate mitigating climate change, and more. The call for opinions is open until 20 August 2012. Act now!

Share the "FORCE" showing the energy future is renewable and healthy

In the run-up to Rio+20, a series of photo-blogs about pioneers in renewable energy are being published by photographer Robert van Waarden with the help of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA). The inspiring stories and images come from around the world and show dedicated individuals and groups who are applying clean energy solutions to their communities’ benefit. The weekly series will continue until 30 June 2012 and so far includes the following:

  • Week 1: Orthodox community embraces renewables in Czech Republic – view story here
  • Week 2: I Love Windpower Brings Energy and Identity to Mali – view story here
  • Week 3: Wind Dreams in Nepal – view story here
  • Week 4: Co-operative Wind Harvesting in the Netherlands – view story here
  • Week 5: A mayor with a vision transforms rural life in the Czech Republic – view story here
  • Week 6: Co-operative Wind Energy in Ireland Builds Strong Community Spirit – view story here
  • Week 7: Megawatts, Community and Development in Thailand – view story here
  • Week 8: Bright Future for Wind Energy in Nepal – view story here

If you wish to submit a story or blog the above too contact the GCCA.

Endorse BMJ Climate, Security and Health statement, signed by more than 500 medical scientists, doctors and security experts

The statement calls on the European Union to unconditionally agree a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions domestically by 30% by 2020, and to prepare further targets towards 2050 which would incentivise the decarbonisation of the economy. Learn more...

Durban Climate and Health Declaration and Durban Global Climate and Health Call to Action

A Declaration and “Call to Action” were presented at the first-ever Global Climate and Health Summit, which took place in Durban during the COP17. It’s been signed by more than 30 major health groups including HEAL. Learn more...

Join the debate - We have an active and growing e-working group on climate and health. Sign up: info@env-health.org

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

Members

HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
E-mail: info@env-health.org
Press: Diana Smith

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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