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RCOG signs pledge to UK Health Alliance on Climate Change

1 Mar 2023

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has signed up to the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change (UKHACC) ten commitments to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Alongside the RCOG, the Alliance members include other royal colleges, faculties, associations, societies, academies, and journals. Together they represent about a million healthcare professionals, much of the NHS workforce. The UKHACC commitments will provide a platform to enable organisations to act, collaborate, share learning and support each other to achieve their individual aims.

The RCOG recognises the disproportionate impact climate change it is having on women and girls, and is committed to ensuring we act with purpose to reduce the consequences of climate change. As part of this, we have a responsibility to improve understanding of the climate crisis, particularly in relation to our impact on health, with both the public and our members.

Dr Ranee Thakar, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “Recognising and limiting our own contributions to the climate crisis, supporting our membership, and advocating for change are all integral to our work in supporting women’s health and reproductive care in the UK and across the world. This is why, as President, I have committed to ensuring action on climate change is a priority for the RCOG.

“We are delighted that UKHACC is supporting its members to make positive changes to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We have made significant changes already however we look forward to collaborating with others on these important commitments in the future.” 

Our progress in the last year includes:

  • Calling on the UK Government to take stronger action on air pollution, and with the RCPCH engaged with parliamentarians on the benefits of cleaner air on health in pregnancy and childhood. We will continue putting pressure on the government on this issue as we know air pollution exposure during fetal development and early childhood can have long-term impacts on health in childhood in beyond, and can affect maternal health.
  • Holding events on the health impact of air pollution and sustainability in healthcare at our World Congress.
  • We are well on track to reduce the amount of carbon used in workplace travel and our building by 50% by 2030.
  • At our Union Street (London) office, introducing more plant-based food options and reusable, plant-based or easily recycled food and drink containers, creating an area to grow herbs and vegetables used in our kitchen, and installing beehives to increase local biodiversity. 

A webpage outlining the UKHACC commitments, with links to further information, guidance and resources on how to achieve each one has been launched to support organisations to deliver the actions. To find out more click here.

  • Corporate
  • Policy and governance
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Gynaecology