Healthy Planet Cambridge began in 2018, it was started by a group of students from different disciplines, wanting to act on the climate crisis from a health perspective. We are a branch of Healthy Planet UK, and follow their overall aims and methods. In Cambridge, there are many groups that are taking action on the climate crisis, for example, Cambridge Zero Carbon Society has recently succeeded in getting the University of Cambridge to commit to fossil fuel divestment. Healthy Planet Cambridge adds to this movement by ensuring the important message of the links between the environment and human health is heard. The benefit of this message is that everyone can relate to it, and it provides a clear evidence-based imperative for us to act urgently on the climate crisis as a public health issue. It also enables us to produce a clear message that while the climate crisis affects us all, there are some people who are already experiencing the impact, and some who are at higher risk of being affected. This means that we can help people understand the concept of climate justice, through thinking about the health implications.
Our actions include running educational workshops at schools and within the universities in Cambridge, taking part in local protests such as the School Strike and running awareness campaigns. We are in the process of creating a sustainable healthcare manual, and are working with the University of Cambridge’s medical school to evaluate how the curriculum prepares medical students on the topic of planetary health, as part of the Planetary Health Report Card initiative.
Since starting two years ago the number of people in our network is growing. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, the main difficulty arises in staying connected with our network, inspiring people to continue to take action, and in expanding our network in the face of online fatigue. However, there is still much we can do and currently we have a lot of behind the scenes activity going on through the work of the main committee and Education Sub-committee.
Our greatest success so far has been in the running of educational workshops. These small groups enable students in secondary school and university to engage with the climate crisis in a meaningful way, and better understand the impact they can have. We believe that the best way to tackle the climate crisis is to work together in our local communities to get the necessary local, national and international changes made in such a way that they address the issues that people care about. If you’d like to know more about our project, or would like to start a conversation with us about acting on the climate crisis, please find us on our social media or send us an email!
We are Healthy Planet Cambridge. We are a group of students and young people studying in Cambridge working to educate, advocate and act on the health implications of the climate crisis. With the assistance of other Healthy Planet groups across our UK network, as well as the wider Students for Global Health group, we aim to raise an awareness within our communities of the dangers presented by the climate crisis we currently face. Looking towards the implications on both our environment and our health, we also examine the co-benefits to our health from possible solutions.