There is no health without a healthy planet – that’s why we joined the Netherlands’ largest-ever climate march last Sunday.
Together with over 50 civil society organisations and hospitals, Health Action International participated in the Health Block of Sunday’s Amsterdam climate march. With a turn-out of 85.000 participants, it was the largest climate march that the Netherlands has ever seen. The health professionals, advocates and activists that were part of the health block called attention to the impact of the climate crisis on human health.
The climate crisis and its global impact, already being felt, should be deeply concerning to all. People around the world, including in the Netherlands, are at increased risk of respiratory illness, infectious diseases, vector-borne diseases and heat-related illnesses that can be attributed to climate change. In addition, large groups of people face becoming “climate refugees” and having to leave land that has become unliveable due to unprecedented episodes of droughts, storms and floods. Social determinants of health including poverty, food insecurity, mass migration and social conflict will destabilise societies and cause profound regression in the physical and mental health well-being of people worldwide. At a time where the systemic influences of climate change on health are already manifesting globally, no matter how big or small, local or international, every action counts.
This is why our new constitution and organisational mission statement makes specific reference to climate change. And with this renewed focus, we have joined other Dutch organisations calling for a greener, healthier future and a change in the political climate ahead of next week’s parliamentary elections.