The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) has today joined other Scottish members of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change in calling on the First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf MSP, to take the lead in driving forward the critical changes needed to protect health and the health service in Scotland from the joint climate and nature crises.

In a letter to Mr Yousaf, the College joined with other health leaders to highlight concerns about the impact that climate change and biodiversity loss are already having on human health, and the subsequent impact this is having on our stretched health service. The letter also states that these consequences pose a systems-wide problem that affects every department of government and requires leadership from the top.

The College agrees that achieving a sustainable health and care service will be central to achieving the wellbeing economy, and seizing the opportunity to invest in transformational change through the COVID-19 recovery plans will be critical to ensuring resilience for the future.

The letter also calls on the First Minister to legislate for a right to clean air and to ensure that Scotland’s climate and nature plans are aligned with the science for rapid decarbonisation. These actions could both ensure everyone has clean air to breathe and deliver the actions needed to limit global warming and restore the natural world.

The full text of the letter can be viewed here