Click4Assistance UK Live Chat Software
Skip to main content

Pillar 1: The wider determinants of health

Tackling the climate emergency

Climate change has been identified as the greatest threat to global public health this century and fundamentally impacts on the social and environmental determinants of health - clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter. We are experiencing climate change at a rate that is completely unprecedented and it is likely to accelerate further. The effects of climate change on public health are largely negative, with hotter, drier summers and more droughts, and wetter winters with more severe storms, leading to flooding. Hotter summers mean more sunlight and ultra-violet exposure at dangerous levels; dehydration; deaths from summer pollution and also deaths from heat exposure, particularly those who are most frail. Wetter weather, especially flooding, is linked with mental ill-health. More intense storms and floods, more frequent heatwaves and the spread of infectious diseases from climate change threaten to undermine years of health gains.

The 2022 United Nations (UN) report Climate change: a threat to human wellbeing and health of the planet states that to avoid mounting loss of life, biodiversity, and infrastructure, ambitious, accelerated action is required to adapt to climate change at the same time as making rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The report also stresses that the importance of having infrastructure and buildings that are prepared for extreme weather cannot be overstated.

In Cheshire West we are committed to mitigating the effects of and adapting to climate change. We are working collaboratively across the Council, the NHS and wider partners through a newly established Sustainability Network and a range of Taskforce Groups. The Cheshire West Sustainability Network is bringing together the range of complex actions set out in the Council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan (2021) and the NHS actions from the Greener NHS Programme. Local NHS Hospital and Community Trusts developed Green Plans in January 2022 and these feed into an overarching Green Plan for the Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care System, published in March 2022.

We will:

  • Continue to prioritise climate change as an emergency, strengthening the engagement with relevant groups and strategies, alongside a wider programme.
  • Prioritise climate change by including it in each organisation’s strategic objectives, staff induction, personal objectives, and all business reports.
  • Implement integrated and sustainable transport options including access to NHS services.
  • Lead the community forest tree planting programme – Trees for Climate.
  • Support the award-winning Natural Health Service.
  • Maximise green social prescribing schemes.
  • Promote active travel and the use of public transport rather than cars
  • Develop an Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure strategy, alongside delivering EV infrastructure within the borough.
  • Make good use of public communications and campaigns through monthly bulletins and social media.
  • Ensure new procurements of NHS and Council services are climate change sensitive.
  • Make the borough carbon neutral as soon as possible before 2045.
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
  • Maximise ‘modern workforce’ principles and reduce travel for staff
  • For emissions controlled directly by the NHS (the NHS Carbon Footprint), achieve 80% reduction by 2028 to 2032 and reach net zero by 2040.
  • For emissions that the NHS can influence (the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus), achieve 80% reduction by 2036 to 2039 and reach net zero by 2045.
  • Work with housing associations to retrofit homes, including private homes to reduce fuel poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Work with businesses and the chamber of commerce to prioritise the health and wellbeing of citizens and environmental sustainability in economic recovery/growth policies.
  • Enforce existing smokeless fuel standards.