In 2014 Health Care Without Harm ramped up its Healthy Energy Initiative, a program that fosters engagement and leadership by the health sector around the world to advocate for a move away from fossil fuel-based power generation—particularly coal—and toward clean, renewable healthy energy options.
As part of HCWH's efforts to move health care upstream, the Healthy Energy Initiative is addressing the scientific evidence showing that fossil fuels are a major contributor to air pollution, which the WHO reports is killing 7 million people annually, as well as to climate change, which the Lancet has called the greatest global health challenge of the 21st century.
A transition to a low carbon economy increasingly based on clean, renewable energy such as solar and wind will not only protect public health from climate change, it will also have immediate health benefits for large portions of the world’s population currently suffering from the impacts of air pollution.
Led by HCWH, the Healthy Energy Initiative is a coalition of partner organizations from Australia, China, Europe, India, the Philippines, and South Africa, which represent and work with health professionals, health organizations, and academic research institutions.
This global network is working toward a vision of a clean energy future by supporting top-notch research on the health impacts of energy choices, developing educational materials for health professionals and the general public, promoting health sector divestment from coal, and advocating for energy policies at the local, national and global level that promote public health.
To learn more, visit www.healthyenergyinitiative.org.
A project of the Healthy Energy Initiative, the Platform was launched prior to the 2015 United Nations Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris.
It is intended to serve as a guiding document for the health sector’s efforts to mobilize globally and in key countries to advocate for healthy energy.
In December 2015, in Paris we were able to announce that the platform was endorsed by 44 organizations representing the health sector in more than 80 countries, demonstrating a commitment to leadership and advocacy for clean, renewable, healthy energy choices in order to protect public health from both climate change and local pollution.