EU Member State governments could radically improve public health and save on health care budgets if European Union climate policy were substantially strengthened. These ground-breaking findings were published by HEAL and our member organisation, Health Care Without Harm Europe in our new report, Acting now for better health: A 30% target for EU climate policy .
The report provides the first-ever estimates of the health savings for different Member States should the European Union move from the current 20% target to a 30% target on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For the EU as a whole, the anticipated health benefits could be as high as 30.5 billion Euros annually by 2020. We hope that EU decision-makers in the Council and the European Parliament will take this health message on board in their preparations for the next UN Climate Summit in Cancun.
Our new report blew up quite a storm among political and medical leaders. There is interest from the European Parliament to raise the issue in the Environment Committee and the Climate Advisor to the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), Dr Michael Wilks was quoted supporting the report in a front-page article in the EU Observer. Several experts at the World Health Organization sent messages of interest, and Dr Hugh Montgomery, a UK professor and expert in health and climate change, sent a copy of the report to the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Media coverage was equally encouraging. As EU policy makers arrived at Schumann they were handed a copy of Metro newspaper containing an article about the report, and leading national news agencies in five of our target countries wrote stories. An article in the influential New York Times Green Blog sparked interest from bloggers around the world. You can see the full media coverage here
Written on 30 September 2010.
Dr. Pendo Maro, Senior Climate Change and Energy Policy Advisor,
tel: 0032 2 234 3647