Welcome to Students for Global Health’s Coordinated Theme! 

Coordinated Themes are voted on and contributed to by the whole network at Spring General Assemblies. They are a way to coordinate our education, advocacy and action efforts across the network around an issue central to our vision. They are proposed by SfGH members like you to bring an issue you care about to the centre of our work – so get thinking for next year! 

Climate Change and Health

Coordinated theme 2020/21

The coordinated theme for the SfGH network 2020/2021 is Climate Change and Health. This means that the national committee, branches and members can all be involved in advocating an incredibly important cause, with the support of the Coordinated Theme team and the Policy and Advocacy Director. With the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow this November, this is a pivotal time for achieving commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and for health to be a key part of that commitment. The voice of the UK youth, in particular on the issue on climate change and health, has never been more important.

To implement much needed awareness raising, advocacy and action, the coordinated theme is leading the COP26 National Working Group, branches, members and the SfGH National Committee to develop and implement climate-focused research, advocacy, and campaigns. This is being done in the two following phases outlined below.

You can follow the team, get updates and look out for opportunities on our social media accounts:

  • https://twitter.com/SfGH_climate
  • https://www.instagram.com/SfGH_ct/https://www.facebook.com/SfGHClimateChangeAndHealth/
  • coordinatedtheme@studentsforglobalhealth.org
  • https://www.facebook.com/SfGHClimateChangeAndHealth/
  • coordinatedtheme@studentsforglobalhealth.org

    You can also read our most recent blog post for updates.

    Phase 1 – Educate

    In the first phase, our focus has been on delivering education by raising awareness on the impacts of climate change on health, within the UK as well as on a global scale. Furthermore, we have been increasing capacity for branches, and members of the SfGH network, on methods of awareness raising, campaigning and parliamentary engagement in preparation for the second phase. A range of media, including a toolkit, campaigns, webinars, film screenings and conferences have been utilised to achieve this.

    Have a look at some of our incredible work below:

    As part of this phase, our Climate on the Curriculum team has been campaigning to get climate change onto the medical curriculum, and other healthcare courses, within the UK. This is being implemented using the IFMSA guide on including climate change to the medical curriculum, which has been accredited by the World Health Organisation; providing an invaluable opportunity to our branch members to have a say in their education. In addition, we are collaborating with the Planetary Health Report Cards initiative to assess universities’ contributions to planetary health and climate education.

    • Become a Climate Rep for your university! Email coordinatedtheme@studentsforglobalhealth.org with your name and university. If you’re currently involved with SfGH in some way, please state your role, too.
    • Workshops on advocating for change in your university are running until May, so please email us to get involved!

    We’ll be spotlighting campaigns being done by our allies, so that our branches and members can be easily connected to the wider movement and climate action being taken by other actors. We’ve already collaborated on two national campaigns!

    • COP26 Letter Campaign

    In December 2020, alongside MedAct, Health Declares, and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, we launched our letter to the government calling on them to prioritise the health of people and planet at COP26 this year! To date, it’s received an incredible 1300+ signatures and support from several Royal Colleges, such as the RCGP, RCP and RC Psych, as well as featured in the BMJ! If you haven’t already – add your name to the letter here.

    • Show the Love Campaign

    Being part of The Climate Coalition, we joined this year’s annual campaign called Show The Love. The aim is to use the power of green hearts to join together and urge politicians to prioritise the climate!

    We ran a series of regional training sessions called ‘Climate Change and Health 101’, with loads of people attending across the UK! It is so exciting to see so many people take part and the feedback we received has been very positive.

    Finally, the COP26 National Working Group will be leading efforts to gather data on the voice of the UK youth (10-25) in regards to their climate change concerns and wants from their UK Government, which will then be used to push for parliamentary lobbying and action. The Research team is pioneering this work within SfGH and is currently obtaining ethical approval. We are excited to share this exciting research with the branches!

    Phase 2 – Advocate & Act

    In addition to continuing our education-focused efforts, we are implementing a range of campaigns on topics, including a just green transition, commitments to tackle the health impacts of climate change, World Environment Day, Youth Demands (using recently gathered data), COP26 commitments, and other joint campaigns with our partners and allies. We appreciate the continued support at all levels of the SfGH network in our advocacy initiatives, and we will push for further impact through our conferences and other International, National and Regional events. Alongside this, we are working in collaboration with a range of stakeholders, nationally and locally, to increase our outreach and impact to a wider audience. This will all be used to lobby government actors and other important stakeholders to tackle climate change and its impact on health.

    As part of this, we have joined Medact on the Health for a Green New Deal Campaign! Read below on how you can advocate for change in your local area.

    We’ll also soon be presenting our work at the Planetary Health Alliance conference (PHAC) on 30th April 2021! We’ll be focusing on the links between climate and health, climate justice, and how Students for Global Health is advocating for change.

    How can branches and members get involved?

    Branches and members can get involved at all stages of the campaign, and we’d love you to be thinking about what kind of events and initiatives you could take at the local level in line with the wider network aims. We’ll be keeping everyone up to date, and giving you lots of information about what you can do and when. 

    Branches are welcome to suggest initiatives that they want to do, or they think the whole network should do! Please reach out to coordinatedtheme@studentsforglobalhealth.org with any questions or ideas!

    Upcoming Campaign: H4GND

    We’ve teamed up with MedAct on the Health for a Green New Deal (H4GND) campaign! There are exciting events, building up momentum to lobby MPs for a green future:

    • 23rd March – Online Storytelling action
    • 8th April – Public Health and the GND briefing launch
    • 17-18th April – Climate-Health-Justice, Launch Gathering for HGND
    • 22nd april – MP Lobbying training with Hope for Future
    • 3rd-10th May – Health Lobby of MPs for Green Jobs 

    Look out for updates on our social media, and get involved where possible! You can also join the Whatsapp group chat by clicking here. If you’d like to get further involved, consider becoming an ambassador for SfGH and filling out this form before April 17th 2021!

    Climate Reps
    It’s not too late to get involved with Climate on the Curriculum! If you’d like to become a Climate Rep for your university and get training sessions on creating change at your institution, email us with your name, university, and whether you’re involved in SfGH in any way!

    Toolkit for branches https://medsinblog.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/climate-change-and-health-toolkit-20-21.pdf

    Climate Change & Health Policy

    Ideas for branches and members:

    • Branches can run their own awareness raising initiatives on climate change and health in their university and local community, including a theme focussed workshop
    • Branches can participate in national awareness raising events such as webinars, podcast, talks, debates and film screenings
    • Branches can ‘host’ national awareness raising events and suggest their own
    • Branches are encouraged to initiative their own advocacy, campaigns and lobbying efforts in line with the network-wide demands and priorities
    • Branches are encouraged to collaborate with our campaign partners at the local level
    • Branches are an essential part of our political advocacy, and we will need them to be powerful voices e.g. reaching out to their MPs, submitting evidence, amplifying demands
    • Briefing for branch leads and members on the campaign 
    • Open sessions for campaign planning, drop-ins and ideas sharing with the coordinated theme team
    • Bank of resources for branches

    Previous Coordinated Themes

    Sustainable Development Goals (2017-2018)

    Homelessness and health (2018-2019)

    Climate change and Health (2019-2020)