Alliance of 600,000 British Doctors Calls for 'Imperative' Coal Phase-Out
Doing so would constitute 'double win for tackling the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change,' report states
Alliance of 600,000 British Doctors Calls for 'Imperative' Coal Phase-Out
Although the U.K. government promised to phase out coal by 2025, the groups raised concerns over the seeming lack of preparation to do so. (Photo: Nikon Ranger/flickr/cc)
By Nadia Prupis / commondreams.org
Oct 20, 2016

A coalition representing Britain's 600,000 doctors and health workers on Wednesday called for a rapid phase-out of coal, saying it was an "imperative" measure and that climate change and air pollution were both "major health threats."

"Ending the use of coal is a simple, no-regrets public health intervention. The rapid phase-out of coal fired stations is an imperative first step. Coal is the most carbon-intensive source of power generation, and is a key focus for reducing the risks of climate change," the U.K. Health Alliance on Climate Change said in a report.

"Climate change and air pollution are both major health threats," the report, A Breath of Fresh Air, states. "They share a common driver: the combustion of fossil fuels. Pollution from coal plants alone costs the U.K. as much as £3.1bn [roughly $3.8bn] each year in human health impacts."

Pollution also disproportionately impacts children and can cause diseases ranging from lung cancer to stroke, killing 40,000 people a year in the country. In a press release (pdf) for the report, Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health fellow Jonathan Griggs calls it the "silent killer," and notes that the phasing out of coal would constitute a "double win for tackling the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change."

Although the U.K. government promised almost a year ago that it would phase out coal by 2025, the groups raised concerns over the seeming lack of preparation to do so, with no consultation documents published since the plan was announced, the groups note.

Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal The Lancet, said the phase-out of coal use "is an essential step towards creating a sustainable energy policy for the  U.K. It is also a vital co-benefit for health—ending coal use will deliver long-lasting health and environmental dividends for the British population. Life expectancies will be prolonged, disease and disabilities reduced, and future risks to health diminished. This is an opportunity to be seized."

The report calls for replacing coal with renewable energy sources like wind and solar, which are beneficial to both air quality and climate safety, which in turn is "advantageous to health," the report states. "Indeed, joining up policies on health, air pollution, and climate change can offset the costs of climate mitigation policies through the health benefits that they bring."

Added Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, "Cutting air pollution from coal will greatly benefit the lives of many people with long-term chronic health conditions and help to protect the health of future generations. Tackling air pollution and climate change will have numerous health benefits but it requires a joined-up approach from government to ensure the health impacts are better recognized and fully realized."


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 11,401 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · 5,779 views today · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 2,746 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,864 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism
Drew Serres · 1,071 views today · “The creation of today’s market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.” – Naomi Klein in The Shock...
22 Documentaries That Tell the Truth About How Government Really Works
Tim Hjersted · 979 views today · And 6 that show how people are responding.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 776 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 609 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
This Woman Gets No Applause...Why? They Are Too Creeped Out...
7 min · 465 views today · Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks? Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon. No amount of marketing makes factory farming...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 432 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 429 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 325 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Live Before You Die
6 min · 322 views today · Travelling the length of the country and back again with a pair of horses and gypsy caravan, Live Before You Die is the ultimate horse-drawn road movie, following a band of...
The Age of Anxiety
Grace Blakeley · 315 views today · I began to experience the crippling power of anxiety in my third year of university. The panic attacks were one thing, but the most horrifying thing about anxiety, the thing...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 302 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 268 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Regenerative Agriculture: Our Best Shot at Cooling the Planet?
Jason Hickel · 255 views today · It’s getting hot out there. For a stretch of 16 months running through August 2016, new global temperature records were set every month.[1] Ice cover in the Arctic sea hit a...
One "Piece of the Oppressor" That I Have Discovered Within Myself
Tim Hjersted · 231 views today · One "piece of the oppressor" that I have found in myself during my inner activist journeys is my use of shame as a method of engaging with the world's problems. Having learned...
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
Josh Jones · 182 views today · Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 177 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Alliance of 600,000 British Doctors Calls for 'Imperative' Coal Phase-Out