A member-submitted motion was passed at the 2020 College AGM, which called on RCPCH to:
- Publicly declare a climate and ecological emergency [complete - see our declaration]
- Strengthen the College’s current policy to divest from fossil fuels [complete - see our investment policy]
- Form a working group on environmental sustainability to allow a faster transition to a net zero carbon health care system
- Incorporate sustainability and climate change into teaching curricula
We have formed a Climate Change Working Group (known as the CCWG) to oversee our programme of activity to address the latter two issues raised by this motion.
The resulting College climate change programme have now formed, with a dedicated action plan to roll out in earnest throughout 2021-2024 under our college strategy. The programme is divided into five workstreams, each with a named lead who reports into an Oversight Group, chaired by our Treasurer Dr Liz Marder.
- Advocating for change | Chair - Dr Katie Knight
- Research into climate change impact on children and young people | Chair - Vacant
- Towards a sustainable building and resources | Chair - Dr Helena Clements
- Support for members | Chair - Dr Emily Payne
- International | Chair - Dr Bernadette O'Hare
Around 80 College members - from medical students to retired consultants, from those living in our UK nations to those working internationally - have volunteered to join us over the next three years.
Alongside this dynamic group of members we also have an Expert Reference group, chaired by our President Dr Camilla Kingdon, which brings together experts in the field to advise our work. We are also working closely with RCPCH &Us to ensure that the voice of children and young people is included across all our workstreams.
We’ve already achieved a huge amount since we got started in 2021. Here are the top highlights from our workstreams so far; you can read more on the individual workstream pages linked above:
- International: published a position statement on the impact of climate change on global child health to share in our advocacy work at COP26
- Advocating for change: contributed to a policy briefing (PDF) for The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change series
- Support for members: created a climate change resources page and established a sustainable paediatrics network with the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare
- Research: introduced a Climate Change Working Group abstract category for RCPCH Conference 2022
- College activity: supported the move of our journal Archives of Disease in Childhood from print to online, one of many planned changes under our commitment to be a net zero organisation by 2040