Climate action in paediatrics and child health - our podcast on COP26 and beyond

In this episode we feature two conversations on the topic of climate change and child health. First our Treasurer Liz Marder chats with Richard Smith, Chair of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, about his reflections on attending COP26 in Glasgow. Their conversation is followed by RCPCH President Camilla Kingdon speaking with Bernadette O'Hare, Chair of our International Climate Change Working Group, about our new College position statement on climate change and child health.
Headphones with images representing climate change and child health: smokestack, warming world, family, buildings

Last month, COP26, the 26th UN Conference on Climate Change, took place in Glasgow. We thought it timely to make climate change the theme of our latest podcast, and are pleased to bring you two conversations in one episode.

Our Treasurer Liz Marder was delighted to speak to Dr Richard Smith, Chair of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change. Richard was in Glasgow during COP26, and had access to some of the health-related events. We asked him to share reflections on his experience "on the inside" and what the commitments in the Glasgow Climate Pact mean for child health. Liz and Richard also spoke about how the health community move forward from COP26 and how we can work together to raise the voice of health professionals in discussions about climate change. 

We absolutely have to, you know, keep up our voice, we mustn't get discouraged, when we should see that we are moving forward, and that we are being listened to more. 

The second half of the podcast features Dr Bernadette O'Hare, a consultant paediatrician and senior lecturer in global health implementation and child health. Bernadette leads the international workstream of our RCPCH Climate Change Working Group, and joined us to summarise the key messages in our new position statement all about climate change's impact on child health. 

It's every child's right to grow up in a safe environment. And we have to prioritise this for future generations of children to thrive.

The podcast concludes with Bernie and Camilla reflecting on what paediatricians can do next:

It's completely understandable in our busy professional and personal lives, that it's very hard to keep up with everything. But if we can find ways to keep up to date with relevant resources, and relate them to climate change, and child health, it really helps us to have it on our radar and to be aware of these issues in all of the different settings in which we function professionally and personally.

You can listen to the episode here, or wherever you access your podcasts (or see our Podcasts page). You can download a full transcript below.