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RCEM signs treaty to end fossil fuel use as it marks Emergency Medicine Day

Monday 27 May 2024

In celebration of Emergency Medicine Day 2024 (27 May 2024), The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has signed a treaty calling for the ‘phasing out’ of fossil fuel use.

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, led by the Global Climate Health Alliance, can be signed by individuals and organisations and calls for a transition to more sustainable and less damaging energy alternatives.

As part of RCEM’s ongoing commitment to address the effects of the climate crisis, the College has added its voice to strengthen the call to manage a global transition to safe, renewable, and affordable energy.

The health effects of extracting and burning fossil fuels include exacerbations of respiratory conditions, heat-related illness and the spread of communicable diseases.

These presentations will place additional challenges on emergency care systems less able to provide the care they need as they deal with consequences of the climate crisis.

RCEM is working on making the practice of emergency care as sustainable as possible through the GreenED programme – an initiative to measure and reduce the environmental impact of Emergency Departments, as well as improving the environmental sustainability of the College itself.

Dr Sandy Robertson, RCEM Environmental Chair and Co-Clinical Lead of the GreenED Programme said: “In emergency medicine we work hard every day to save lives, but in the case of the climate crisis we know we cannot do this on our own.

“This treaty is calling governments around the world help us save lives by implementing a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, averting the worst of the climate crisis and ensuring a safe and healthy future for all.”

Gordon Miles, Chief Executive Officer of RCEM said: “As the professional body for Emergency Medicine, we support this call for a fossil fuel treaty to be developed and implemented by governments.

“Tackling the climate emergency is important to this generation of emergency medicine professionals and their patients.

“We are asking governments to join us on our journey to manage down carbon emissions as a matter of urgency.”

RCEM and the GreenED will be celebrating Emergency Medicine Day across their social media channels – @RCollEM and @GreenED_uk

Find out more by visiting the GreenED website.

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