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 have established a comprehensive programme of work driven by our members as part of a 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. There are also a number of ways you can get more actively involved. 

Current opportunities 

Approach your local council about air pollution 

Members of our climate change working group have produced a toolkit to support paediatricians with approaching their local councils about air pollution. This is designed to be used around local elections, or at any time when engaging with council members or local MPs on this important topic. 

Download the toolkit (PDF)

Respond to the government's consultation on air pollution targets

The Government Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published a consultation on air quality targets on 16 March 2022. Air pollution is a health emergency the government must act on, and the RCPCH Climate Change Working Group will be putting in a response to the consultation. Our view is that the target lacks ambition and is not strong enough to achieve healthy air for all. We don’t have time to delay until 2040, and we must take steps to reduce levels now and set proper legal targets for 2030.

We would also encourage you to respond to this consultation as an individual. Asthma+Lung UK have launched a toolkit to collate individual views to the consultation. Ensure your voice is heard on the need for quicker action to tackle air pollution by completing this Environment Act consultation tool.

Join Ride for Their Lives 2022 

Ride for Their Lives logo

Following the success of Ride for Their Lives 2021, a marathon ride of paediatric healthcare professionals from London to Glasgow ahead of COP26, the organisers are pleased to be holding Ride for Their Lives 2022.

The ride this year is in the form of a series of interconnected relays between different healthcare settings. The purpose of this is to generate collaboration within the healthcare sector on the climate and nature crisis, and then to promote that collaboration to the world.

They are looking for groups of paediatric and/or neonatal healthcare providers - and other healthcare providers - from at least two different hospitals or healthcare settings to organise a cycle, walk or run from one institution to the other institution(s) over one day. At the end of your day, you would be asked to record a discussion around the topics of air quality, the benefits of active travel and healthy cities. This will all be collated into an Inspiration Hub, to be launched in an international campaign ahead of COP27 later in 2022. 

To find out more or organise your own ride, visit the Ride for Their Lives webpages. You can also see what rides are already planned and sign up to join one. For any questions please email ride@climateacceptancestudios.com.

Ongoing opportunities 

Share our resources with your colleagues 

We'd encourage you to read and share our position statement with your contacts to help spread the word about climate change and the impact on child health. You can also join the conversation on social media, using #healthyclimate and #healthiertomorrow.

Write a blog or case study for us

We are always eager to here reflective and personal stories from our members to strengthen our voice. Have you witnessed the impact of climate change on a child's health first hand? Or do you have a sustainable healthcare project from your hospital that others could learn from? We'd love to hear from you - please send any ideas for blogs or case study contributions to ccwg@rcpch.ac.uk.

Send us a photo

We are always keen to receive pictures of our members doing something green at home, in your local community or at your workplace. Please send any images you have consent to use to ccwg@rcpch.ac.uk so we can share them on our Instagram. 

Follow 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. 

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. Please note we are currently operating a waiting list.