Courses — 22 January 2023 at 6:36 pm

Eco Medics Conference Review 2022: A Prescription for Climate Action

Fiona Smith / Medical Student / University of Plymouth


Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. Being a global public health crisis, it is pivotal that healthcare professionals are at the forefront of the climate response. The Eco Medics annual conference brings healthcare professionals together to learn about the role we have in avoiding and preparing for the climate crisis.

Photographs curtesy of Zuzanna Nowinka

About Eco Medics

Eco Medics is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the knowledge of healthcare professionals about sustainable health practices and the climate crisis.

Theme and Structure

The theme for this year’s event, “a prescription for climate action” was representative of Eco Medics’ ambition to deliver a conference educating those in the healthcare sector on the greatest threat to public and global health in the 21st century, the climate crisis.

Tickets for the one-day event were offered for either virtual or in-person attendance. The conference was free of charge with a £30 deposit required for in-person tickets in an attempt to reduce the non attendance rates that often thwarts conference audiences. Attendees were able to choose to donate their deposit or request for it to be refunded. This policy is fitting with Eco Medics’ values; money should not prevent people from being empowered to act against climate change. Eco Medics provide all their events and resources free of charge thanks to their range of sponsors, grant providers and donations.

For those attending in-person, London’s impressive Royal Geographical Society provided a fitting location. Based in South Kensington, the charming venue usually hosts geographers from across the globe who come together to understand the world in which we live.


In addition to the full timetable of speakers, delegates had the opportunity to engage with exciting exhibitors such as the Plant-Based Health Professionals. They are an organisation who provide education on the positives of adopting a whole food plant-based diet, with benefits not only for our health but also for minimising the environmental impact of our nutrition. Plant-based Health Professionals delivered staggering facts on the costs our diets can have on our health and planet. They debunked common beliefs about plant-based diets and demystified the vegan world, persuading all of us to rethink our eating habits.


The schedule for the day was undeniably impressive, making it challenging to mention only a few highlights.

Dr Nick Watts – NHS Chief Sustainability Officer – provided us with an encouraging insight into the actions the NHS are taking to reduce their environmental impact. His comedic stage presence made for an incredibly engaging start to the day. It was reassuring to hear that the NHS is leading the way in terms of healthcare systems combatting their environmental burden. Details on the changes we are making towards moving to electric ambulances were particularly exciting.

Next up, Professor Hugh Montgomery left the audience amazed with his shocking facts about the climate crisis. We were left not in despair but instead motivated to make changes to protect our planet. He explained that if each member of the audience took seven actions, and convinced seven people to take seven similar actions, the ripple effect of these would really set the world on a path towards positive climate change.

After this terrifying and powerful call to action, it was time for a pause to digest the information. During the break, we indulged in some delicious plant-based food, again convincing us that a diet without animal products could really be the way forward.

Following this, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah gave a personal perspective on the devastating effects the climate crisis is having on population health. Her daughter tragically passed away after a severe asthma attack which was exacerbated by London’s elevated levels of air pollution. Rosamund has made it her life’s work to campaign for clean air for all. She believes clean air should be a human right as polluted air poses real threat to global health. She reflected on the current horrifying conflict in Ukraine and raised concern that it is only now, following such atrocity that the political agenda has begun to take switching to clean energy seriously. She explained that as medics we have a loud collective voice and that we need to use this voice to strive for positive change.

Take-Home Thoughts

Our actions matter. Dr Nathan Hudson-Peacock, Founder and Director of Eco Medics left us with a final powerful message; “every minor change is part of an enormous success.” If we all pledge to make small positive changes towards caring for our planet, this will have a significant impact in turning things in favour for the future.

If you are interested in making environmentally-positive changes at work then follow this link to the EcoQIP Bank for inspiration.

If you were unable to attend the 2022 conference there is a video summary of the conference here and you can follow this link to catch up on further content.

The Eco Medics Conference is returning in 2023, click here to pre-register for tickets.