The Faculty is very concerned with recent announcements from Government regarding the roll-back of policies necessary to accelerate our transition to a sustainable economy and protect the future health of our population and our planet.
During 2022, temperatures reached over 40c in the UK and there were over 60,000 heat-related deaths across Europe. This summer the impact of climate change was again felt throughout the globe with new record-breaking temperatures, floods, storms, and other climate-related disasters.
The terrible loss of lives and livelihoods as a result of climate change has long-lasting consequences not only for the populations in those countries immediately impacted by these disasters, but to populations across the world due to disruption of global supply chains and a host of other geopolitical issues – we must not fail to understand our interdependence as a global community.
It is our duty as a nation with global influence to lead in climate mitigation by being bold and ambitious in our decarbonisation targets. The devastating events that we are already witnessing should urge us to step up our efforts to reach net zero rather than scrapping those policies which are essential to our future health and prosperity.
The consequences of overshooting the 1.5°C commitment in the Paris agreement is unfathomable. As we teeter on the edge of this commitment we see ever-increasing – but entirely preventable – death and disease, particularly among the most disadvantaged.
Not only do we fail to protect human and planetary health with the roll-back of these policies, but we also compromise our prosperity as a nation. The co-benefits gained for our health and our productivity by decarbonising our economy have been compelling demonstrated, and failure to invest in a green economy will see the UK lag behind other nations.
Therefore, we urge Government to rethink the decision to postpone the implementation of policies that are urgently required to honour our net zero commitments and protect the lives and livelihoods of our population as well as others across the globe.