Climate change threatens health on an unprecedented scale. To avoid climate chaos we need to decarbonise how we live and work as fast as we can. But the good news is that many of the things we need to do are not only good for the climate but great for local health too. This is why climate action has been called the greatest opportunity for improving public health of the 21st century. By transforming our energy system, our transport system, our built environment, and our food system we can not only avoid the worst impacts of climate change but we can also dramatically improve health. If we do this right we could end up with clean air, streets which are safe to walk and cycle in, homes which are warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and diets which extend rather than shorten our lives.
There is a great story to tell here. Ours will be the most dramatic era of systemic change in human history and it is up to us to find our place in this, to learn to thrive in this challenging time and to contribute as best we can.
Some of my contributions to date have been:
South Region Sustainability and Health Network
NHS England commissioned me to review and develop this network between 2014-15. I prepared and published a review of the network and then worked with local partners in the NHS and public health to strengthen local activity aimed at creating a sustainable health and care system.
Public Health England Sustainability Programme Board
While at Public Health England (2013-14), the then new national body for public health, I established their sustainability programme board, bringing together relevant leaders from across the organisation to develop a coordinated work programme under the chairmanship of two executive level leads.
Environmental Sustainability and Public Health Training
While a public health registrar I established a national network of registrars with an interest in environmental sustainability. I was the lead author and editor on a report this group published describing the contribution which public health registrars and their training programmes could have to environmental sustainability.
International Coalition for Sustainable Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices
While working for the world renown NHS Sustainable Development Unit, I led their pharmaceutical programme liaising with international pharmaceutical companies and national bodies such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. This resulted in formation of the International Coalition for Sustainable Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices.
Transport and Dietary Research
While at the Centre for Diet and Physical Activity Research in Cambridge I undertook data analysis on research into the health benefits of transport infrastructure and helped them develop evidence briefings to communicate their findings to a wider non academic audience. Prior to this while studying at Cambridge University I worked on modelling health gains and carbon savings of reductions in red and processed meat dietary intake.
I continue to work to improve health through ever greater climate action. I work as a catalyst for system change by sharing a strong positive story about our future, by building networks across places and social groups, and by empowering those I meet to play their part in this transformation of our world.
I am always on the look out for more work to collaborate on.
Please contact me if you have projects which you think I might be able to help with.