Typhoon Haiyan Appeal

Humanitarian aid won’t stop climate change.



Thousands killed. 1.9 million displaced.

Super typhoon Haiyan – which hit the Philippines in November – is only one manifestation of an extreme weather event. While it is not possible to attribute this single event to global warming, a vast body of evidence shows that weather systems are changing as a result of rising temperatures. This includes evidence of an increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events in some parts of the world.

Global warming – caused by human activity – is a fact. We may not be certain about the degree and speed at which the world will continue to heat up; but there are good reasons to think that we may not be able to limit the warming to less than 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels.

The effects of global warming are already affecting millions of people through its impact on the weather and climate. Any further warming is likely to magnify these effects, potentially affecting the security and wellbeing of billions of people. Our children can no longer be sure of an ecologically sustainable and secure future.

In spite of this, politicians and governments, often under the influence of vested interests that seek to undermine climate science, have generally failed to lead a process to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Change is needed. Please support Medact.

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What Medact hopes to do

Get the health community to alert people to the fact that climate change is a public health emergency.

Back the call of climate scientists for making a rapid and transformative shift from dirty to clean and renewable energy.

Counter the influence of climate-denialists and the coal, oil and gas industries.

Promote the health and social benefits of an equitable and low-carbon global economy that meets the needs of all within environmental boundaries.

Climate Change is serious and dangerous. But it is possible to quickly and radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And if we are smart,  courageous and imaginative, it can be done in ways that would be socially beneficial.

As health professionals , we can act locally and within the health system to make change happen. Collectively, we can make an impact on public opinion, and a positive contribution to policy and the politics of climate change.

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Support for this appeal

“As a public health scientist who works on climate change, the lack of progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is dangerous. I want to see the health community leading a more vigorous public debate.”

Professor Sir Andy Haines, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“It is an undisputed physicochemical  property of ‘Greenhouse gases’, first revealed over 150 years ago, that they ‘trap’ radiant heat. The expected effects of such energy gain (rising temperatures, melting ice, warming oceans, increasing extreme weather events) are demonstrable, and confirmed by NASA and the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Future climate impacts will be bad. The only debate is just how bad. No doctor can support rolling the dice to find out, when, at stake, is our health and survival, and that of our children.”

Professor Hugh Montgomery. Professor of Intensive Care Medicine and Director, UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance

“I support Medact’s plan to mobilise the health community around climate change. It is important.”

Christine Hancock. Director and founder of C3 Collaborating for Health. Former General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing and former President of the International Council of Nurses.

“The health care system of every country needs to promote the health, social, and economic benefits of a fair and low-carbon global economy. These benefits Climate change is happening now, it is address many of our other challenges of today such as global poverty, under-nutrition, and over nutrition, and the diseases associated with inappropriate and excess affluence (such as physical inactivity, poor diets, health inequalities, obesity, heart disease, and many cancers).  Increasingly health professionals should realise that this is happening on our watch and will be our legacy.  We can do much within our daily lives, both personally and professionally, and if we act with one mind, and one voice, we can help transform the world for our children and future generations in ways of which we can be proud.  If not us, when?  If not now, then when?”

Dr David Pencheon. Director of the Sustainable Development Unit , NHS England and Public Health England.

“The science of climate change has been systematically undermined by the powerful vested interests of the fossil fuel industries. It is like the way that health science has been systematically undermined by the tobacco and alcohol industries. The health community has a responsibility to defend climate science.”

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore. University of Liverpool and former President of the Royal College of Physicians

“The precautionary principle is built into the daily practice of clinical medicine. We need to apply this same principle to the health of the planet; and call for a rapid and large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. “

Dr June Crown. Former President of the Faculty of Public Health

How to Donate

There are three ways you can donate to this appeal.

  1. Online: Use Just Giving, the well respected and trusted charity website, to donate securely to Medact. Follow this link.
  2. Text Donation: Text MEDT13 £10 to 70070 to donate to Medact via text. Replace £10 with the sum of your choice – with £10 being the maximum.
  3. Cheque: Fill out and print this form and send a cheque payable to Medact to The Grayston Centre, 28 Charles Square, London, N1 6HT.

Finally, would you like to get involved in our work on climate change?

Medact is currently undergoing a process of revitalisation and change. We are actively shaping our programme work and have begun a process of strategic planning for our work in all four of our programme areas. We will be holding a series of workshops in the New Year on seven key areas for Medact over the next three years – one of which will be on climate change. To find out more about this workshop, please email workshops [at] medact.org.

Also, see our Get Involved page and consider joining Medact as a member.