Our work on climate change - how to get involved

There are so many ways you can join us in our climate advocacy work. Here we share a few of the latest opportunities.

Climate change has been identified as a priority in our new College strategy for 2021-24, and we are in the process of establishing a comprehensive programme of work which will be driven by our members, led by a dedicated Climate Change Working Group (CCWG).

We now have a dedicated climate change key topic page on the RCPCH website to bring all of our work on this topic into one place, including case studies, blogs and explainers. This includes a repository of resources for health professionals, collated by our climate change working group, which we will be updating on a monthly basis. If you’d like to contribute something yourself you can get in touch via the climate change working group email address which is ccwg@rcpch.ac.uk

The best way to keep up to date with the work of the CCWG is through the RCPCH email communications, including your monthly eBulletin.

COP26 - join us in advocating for child health

Over the last few months, we have been working closely with other Royal Colleges and healthcare organisations to coordinate and plan for the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) which is taking place in Glasgow from 1-12 November. The climate crisis is the single biggest health threat facing humanity, and COP26 is a crucial opportunity to assess, reaffirm and strengthen existing climate change commitments made by the international community. Worldwide health professionals are united in calling for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health. We call on the leaders of every country and their representatives at COP26 to make human health central to all climate change mitigation and adaptation actions to protect current and future generations of children and young people.  

Coordinated activity across the health sector

As a health professional, there are a number of ways you can get involved in supporting activity across the health sector ahead of COP26:

  • Sign the UK Health Alliance for Climate Change Call for Action. As a coalition of health professionals in the UK, we call for urgent action to prevent an increase in mean global temperatures of more than 1.5C, and to mitigate the worst effects of the climate emergency on environmental and human health.
  • Sign the Global Climate and Health Alliance #HealthyClimatePrescription letter. The health community around the world is coming together to send a message to national leaders and country delegations, calling for rapid and strong action to address the climate crisis.
  • Build you advocacy skills and watch a #CareforClimate webinar. In the months leading up to COP26, GCHA is hosting a series of webinars focussed on specific skills, framings and tools to help ensure that advocacy by the climate and health community is its strongest yet and to build momentum as the negotiations approach.
  • Join in with the virtual Ride for Their Lives. On Sunday 24 October, 30 paediatric healthcare providers will leave Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London on bicycles, heading to COP26 in Glasgow. They are calling on adult and child healthcare providers around the world to join the ride virtually and log their own miles cycled in October by joining one of their Strava groups. This is a chance for the global healthcare community to unite and send a single powerful message to those in power.

RCPCH activity

In October, we will be launching a new RCPCH position statement, which looks at the effects of climate change on global child health. We'd love your support in launching this, and there are, again, a number of ways you can get involved: 

  • Join the conversation on social media, using #RCPCH4healthyclimate 
  • Share the new position statement with your contacts to help spread the word about climate change and the impact on climate change 
  • Share a reflective story with us to strengthen our voice. Have you witnessed the impact of climate change on a child's health first hand? Is there a message you want to send to world leaders in the run up to COP26? We are inviting members to share their personal reflections - for example in a short blog for our website, or in a short video. We'd love to hear from you - please send any contributions to ccwg@rcpch.ac.uk

Ongoing opportunities 

The following are some ongoing external opportunities.

UKHACC activities

The College is a long-standing member of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, or UKHACC. The UKHACC brings together doctors, nurses and other health professionals to advocate for responses to climate change that protect and promote public health. They produce monthly emails for health professionals, and we'd encourage you to sign up to receive these if you are interested in hearing more about their activities. 

ISSOP webinars

Several College members have been involved in a series of webinars focusing on climate change that are being hosted by the International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health, or ISSOP. You can catch up with the previous months via the ISSOP website.

Join our CCWG 

We are always looking for passionate paediatricians to join our climate change working group. if you are interested, please send an expression of interest to us by email to ccwg@rcpch.ac.uk, and we can discuss the time commitment this work involves.