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His Royal Highness speaks out on the health benefits of climate action

A joint event to discuss health sector engagement in the run up to the UN climate negotiations in Paris, involved His Royal Highness Prince Charles’ International Sustainability Unit and the WHO, hosted by the Royal Society.

HEAL participated at the Royal Society event in London, together with health ministers, senior civil servants, health professionals and civil society organisations to discuss climate change, health and forthcoming negotiations involving the UNFCCC, COP21.

In his keynote speech, His Royal Highness urged health practitioners to be bolder in highlighting the links between the effects of climate change on clean air, water and our wellbeing. Prince Charles who for decades has used his unique position to champion action for a sustainable future, highlighted the need to “Protect the health of the planet, protect our health. Actions which are good for the planet are also good for human health’’.

The extracts from the articles below show two positive immediate outcomes of the meeting:

“Taking a more active approach to transport by walking and cycling and adopting healthy diets reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also reduce rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer and more — saving lives and money. “Reductions in air pollution also result, with separate and additional benefits to human health. A healthy planet and healthy people are two sides of the same coin.”

Source: Prince Charles: We must treat our planet like a sick patient, Standard, 25 February 2015

“As the Prince points out, we need to deal with environmental policies holistically, by making them seem like sensible self-interest. By making climate change an issue of human health, we can bring about much-needed changes in behaviour that will benefit future generations as well as our own.”

Source: Evening Standard Comment: A new approach to the environment and health, 25 February 2015

Useful information:

Originally posted on 11 March 2015

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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