US | Health Care Climate Council Supports EPA Clean Power Plan

The Health Care Climate Council, established by Health Care Without Harm and representing hospitals across the United States that are committed to addressing the health impacts of climate change, supports the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The EPA plan sets the first-ever federal limits on dangerous carbon pollution from existing power plants, cuts the single largest source of the carbon pollution, and safeguards public health from the harmful effects of carbon pollution.

Read more.

Read More »

South Africa | Hard-Hitting Coal & Health Documentary Launched Online

Award-winning South African documentary The Bliss of Ignorance officially launched online today, making it widely available for public access. The new film, produced in association with Healthy Energy Initiative’s South Africa partner, groundWork, and Friends of the Earth International, looks at the impact of South Africa’s energy policy — particularly the support for Eskom, the state’s energy utility’s reliance on coal-fired power stations — on public health. Set against the wider climate change debate, The Bliss of Ignorance highlights how the mining and burning of coal affects the environment, polluting …

Read More »

Philippines | Deaths of workers in Semirara show that coal mining is a health risk too

Detailed astronaut photograph of the northern end of Semirara Island (Public domain photo from Wikipedia)

The death of at least six coal mine workers in Semirara Island in Antique on July 17 served as a tragic reminder that coal mining is an inherently dangerous occupation with health risks that cannot be ignored, said environmental health organization Health Care Without Harm-Asia. Most of the time, the impacts of coal combustion on human health, such as respiratory diseases resulting from air pollution, receive the greatest attention, but other …

Read More »

Philippines | Health must be considered in climate policy and energy choices

UK Embassy’s Charges d’Affaires Steph Lysaght gives his opening remarks

Health Care Without Harm-Asia’s Healthy Energy Initiative participated in a roundtable forum on the intersection of climate change, energy, and public health co-hosted by the British Embassy in Manila and Philippine Department of Health. Entitled “Opening the Human Security Lens to Climate Change and Energy,” the event aimed to launch a conversation and create synergies between the health, energy, and environment sectors to define urgent and collaborative actions needed to address climate change’s impact on public …

Read More »

France | Health experts call on French authorities to prioritize health at COP21

A greater focus on health is needed during the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris this December, according to a joint declaration by the French Public Health Association, the French Society of Environmental Health, and the French Medical Council. The Health and Environment Alliance, Healthy Energy Initiative’s partner in Europe, co-signed the declaration. Underlining the role of health professionals in the prevention of climate-related diseases, the signatories ask the French authorities preparing the climate negotiations to explicitly include health in the final negotiations and commitments of COP21.

Read more.

Read More »

Global | 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change

Today, globally renowned medical journal the Lancet released the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change: Policy Responses to Protect Public Health, an update to the landmark 2009 Lancet Commission report. This new report argues that tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century, an opportunity that now requires political will to realize.

The report’s policy recommendations range from cities supporting lifestyles for healthy people and planet, to an international agreement to transition to a low-carbon economy; and from phasing …

Read More »

India | Lung specialist: Draft emission rules allow new coal plants to pollute

In an op-ed, an eminent Chennai-based lung specialist issues an unflattering critique of the health implications India’s proposed emissions standards for coal-fired power plants. Noting the proposed standards’ failure to adequately address the persistent health impacts of mercury pollution, the cumulative health impacts from multiple pollution sources, air pollution from existing coal plants, and the regional nature of air pollution, Dr. Husamuddin Papa concludes that “India’s environmental policy and regulations do not reflect a health-based understanding.” Dr. Papa cautions that, “well-planned development can contribute to national economy; ill-planned development that does not …

Read More »

Australia | Unprecedented alliance calls for zero pollution in Australia

In an open letter to all Australian Parliamentarians, an unprecedented alliance of 51 health, environment, legal, aid, union, farming, and religious groups state have called for all parliamentarians to commit to strong emissions reduction targets, stating: “Australia and Australian people stand to lose so much from the impacts of climate change; it is in our national interest to be amongst the leading nations to ensure the world limits warming to well below 2 degrees. A zero carbon pollution future is possible, and it is all of our responsibility to …

Read More »

Philippines | HCWH-Asia and healthy energy partners laud Norway’s divestment from coal

HCWH-Asia’s Healthy Energy Initiative and students of the Asian Medical Students’ Association-Philippines joined the Defend Zambales movement in front of a coal-fired power plant in Bani Point, Oyon Bay, Masinloc, Zambales.

Together with its partners for healthy energy, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH)-Asia celebrates a major triumph against fossil fuel with Norway’s recent divestment from coal.

“Norway’s move to divest from coal is an important contribution to both mitigating climate change and protecting the public’s health,” said Dr. Renzo Guinto, campaigner of the Healthy Energy Initiative …

Read More »

Global | Governments Recognize Air Pollution’s Threat to Human Health

World Health Assembly’s Air Pollution Resolution is a Small First Step

Image courtesy of WHO

The world’s governments took an important step forward in recognizing air pollution as a major threat to human health, by issuing a resolution at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May. However, governments were unwilling or unable to address the single most significant source of both outdoor air pollution and climate change: society’s dependence on fossil fuels, particularly the combustion of coal for energy generation.

The Healthy Energy Initiative expressed concern that the magnitude and urgency of …

Read More »