View this email in your browser

Infographic credits: GCHA; design by Russell Shaddox

JULY 2022

To protect the health and lives of present and future generations we need a rapid, equitable phase-out of fossil fuels globally, so as not to exceed the 1.5ºC of warming advised by global scientific consensus. That’s why in 2021, the health community came together around a Healthy Climate Prescription that made the position of the health community clear: fossil fuels have got to go.

Momentum is now building around a potentially powerful mechanism for delivering on that demand: a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Phasing out fossil fuel production, and fast-tracking progress towards safer and more cost-effective alternatives, will require unprecedented international cooperation and the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty offers a promising path to exactly that.

The health community has been joining forces and collecting signatures worldwide to support the initiative. The call for the Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation Treaty will be launched in September, make sure you join the call adding your signature, as an individual or as an organization. The letter was initiated by the Global Climate and Health Alliance, and Physicians for Social Responsibility with the support of the World Health Organization and the WHO-Civil Society Working Group on Climate and Health.

Comparable to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the proposed Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty would be an evidence-based international agreement to control a category of substances well-known to be harmful to human health. The health risks associated with burning fossil fuels are numerous and present severe threats to human and planetary health. According to available research, phasing out fossil fuels would prevent 3.6 million annual deaths worldwide caused by ambient air pollution. You can find more in the GCHA briefing published in July.

Health professionals are adamant: fossil fuels are toxic to people’s health. Every stage of the fossil fuel cycle has negative health impacts, from mining and fracking to transport through pipelines, to processing and finally to burning fossil fuels for end use. We’ve depended on their capacity to provide energy for decades, but we now have alternatives that are cleaner and more sustainable – and compatible with the healthier future we want.

As health professionals, we work hard to save lives.  It is our duty to prioritize our patients’ safety, dignity and comfort and we are duty-bound to speak out about the serious global health risks posed by the continued extraction and use of fossil fuels. Efforts are underway to build low-carbon, sustainable health systems at both national and institutional levels, but to protect the health and lives of current and future generations, we must collectively do much more to rapidly reduce emissions.



*** The GCHA team will be taking some time off in the course of the coming weeks. While we will still be working on preparing for September outputs, we won’t be publishing a newsletter in August. But we will be back with a redesigned newsletter in September, check your mailbox! 



*JOBS* NCDA is hiring for a few exciting roles. Check out their vacancies for Policy & Advocacy Manager (New York); Capacity Development Senior Manager (Geneva/London); and Policy & Advocacy Officer (Geneva)

*JOBS* Amref Health Africa is seeking to recruit for the following job openings. Use the respective links to view the full JD & apply. Chief of Party - USAID and Deputy Chief of Party - USAID.

*JOBS* Health Care Without Harm - Europe is seeking an experienced, driven and well-organized administration professional to join their Brussels team and provide support to the Operations Manager, Leadership Team, Board of Directors and wider. More information here.

~ In a historic move, the United Nations declared that everyone on the planet has a right to a healthy environment. In a resolution passed on 28 July, the General Assembly said climate change and environmental degradation were some of the most pressing threats to humanity's future. It called on states to step up efforts to ensure their people have access to a "clean, healthy and sustainable environment."

~ The Climate Advocacy Lab’s Climate + Health Circle is a 6-month peer learning experience for leaders, organizations, and networks engaging the health community to take action on climate. This free, online program will take place from September 2022 to February 2023. Application closes: Monday, August 15th 2022 @ 11:59pm EST. Click here to register and find out more.

~ In July, the Vatican joined the global call for an international treaty that tackles the climate crisis at its source: fossil fuels. The call builds on the Vatican’s calls for fossil fuel divestment and new policies for investments in “a more just and sustainable world”.

~ The Health and Care Act, which came into effect on the 1st July in the UK, places new duties on the NHS in England to consider climate change when making decisions.

~ New research puts the US ahead of China, Russia, India and Brazil in terms of global climate damage. The huge volume of planet-heating gases pumped out by the US, the largest historical emitter, has caused such harm to other, mostly poor, countries through heatwaves, crop failures and other consequences that the US is responsible for nearly $2tn in lost global income since 1990. Combined, these five countries have caused a total of $6tn in losses worldwide, or about 11% of annual global GDP, since 1990 by fueling climate breakdown.

~ A new report by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food showcased how ten food-focused initiatives have taken action to promote human, ecological, and animal health and well-being. Case studies of initiatives in Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda and the United States provided healthcare and public health professionals with evidence and ideas for how food-health action can be taken at local, regional, national and international level.
~ HEAL has produced a science to policy communications toolkit for fellow NGOs and anyone working on clean air advocacy. “Advocating for clean air – how to communicate the science” can be found

~ Another heatwave hit Europe as the rising frequency of extreme weather events is threatening not only our health, but our ability to provide healthcare. LIFERESYSTAL is developing resources to support the healthcare sector’s resilience to climate change.

~ Published by MIT Press (MITP), in partnership with the Masters of the Environment program (MENV) at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Journal of Climate Resilience & Climate Justice is an online, open access resource providing research reports, case studies, essays and opinions from the working edge of the climate resilience and climate justice fields. It will be published once a year, each issue will include six to eight professional articles and two graduate student articles, for a total of approximately 200 digital pages. More information on how to submit contributions can be found here.



“The burning of fossil fuels, the root cause of both air pollution and climate change, threatens medicine's core mission. They harm health & threaten healthcare delivery, making our jobs not only harder, but sometimes impossible.” - Renee N Salas, MD, MPH, Harvard Global Health Institute

"Repeated exposure, summer after summer after summer, is more likely to cause diseases, but it is hard to make predictions because it is hard to say how many fires people will be exposed to, how long the fires will burn, or what the smoke will contain," - Keith Bein of the Center for Health and Environment at UC Davis.

There is more to learn about how scorching heat waves, water scarcity, food insecurity, comorbidities, and the dehydrating effects of cancer treatment might amplify disparities associated with poor cancer outcomes for people displaced by climate emergencies.” - Aditi Hazra, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School

There's a growing appetite for health and food professionals to work together and advocate for changes to policy and and practice that address the drivers and determinants of unhealthy food systems. (...) There are an abundance of opportunities for meaningful collaboration between the health sector and food systems actors. Now is the time to act.” - Patty Fong, Program Director at the Global Alliance for the Future of Foods



4 August, 11:00 AM EST-  Ride for their Lives 2022 introduction and Q&A on the initiative in English and Spanish  - Zoom link for registration


25 August, 16:00 CEST - COP27 Infosessions: Pavilion and Events Q&A - Zoom link for registration



*** The GCHA newsletter is now available in Spanish ***


Subscribe here if you wish to receive the Spanish version (scroll down to the bottom of the page and choose your option, you’ll need to unsubscribe from the English version if you don’t wish to receive both). 



Health organizations are invited to become members of the Global Climate and Health Alliance.

Individual health professionals & workers are invited to sign up as a Climate and Health Champion, to receive advocacy alerts, policy & advocacy information, and tools, and to share updates about your advocacy efforts.

Donate! Your gift – of any amount – helps GCHA elevate the voices of the health community to drive climate policies that protect all people’s health and wellbeing. 





Copyright © 2021, GCHA, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Subscribe to GCHA Mailing List