HCWH Europe Newsletter: A Lack of Unity to Combat Climate Change

 Health Care Without Harm Global Projects
In this issue
News Publications
Members Updates
Activities on Climate
Public Consultations
Anja Leetz
December saw yet another UN climate negotiation summit passed by with world leaders failing to come up with binding agreements to combat climate change. They will continue to negotiate for years, while we observe the impact of climate chaos to people’s well-being.

We will continue to raise our voice to protect public health as in our first Climate and Health Summit in Durban on 4 Dec 2011 (see further down under climate), but we cannot rely on our governments.

Therefore, we need to take action wherever we live and work, our procurement choices in healthcare and at home, our demands to companies and service providers need to send a clear message that we want low-carbon solutions that protect our planet and the future of our children. Wishing us all the right and informed choices in 2012, we are looking forward to working with you to build an environmentally sound world, worth living in. Sending you Season’s greetings.

Best wishes,

Anja Leetz
Executive Director – HCWH Europe


New Publications
HCWH Launches Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Agenda
New HCWH Climate and Health News Service
Health Care Without Harm has launched a new initiative designed to foster greater ecological sustainability and environmental health in the health care sector around the world. The Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Agenda is a framework for hospitals and health systems to reduce their ecological footprint and play a leading role in addressing major environmental health challenges--such as chemical contamination, medical waste and climate change-- in the hospital setting and the broader community. more
European Environment Agency "Revealing the costs of air pollution from industrial facilities in Europe"
PPT on Climate Change and the Role of Healthcare Professionals
The report estimates that the health cost of industry pollution in Europe in 2009 is estimated as being at least EUR 102–169 billion. The report is based only on the industrial facilities included in the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. Most of the damaging pollution comes from fossil fuels combustion.  Read the report.
Tomorrow's healthcare environments – towards a sustainable future
New HCWH Climate and Health News Service
The UK Department of Health has published a document: "Tomorrow's healthcare environments – towards a sustainable future" that features aspects and examples of raising the quality and sustainability of health buildings and spaces, such as healing environments, low carbon, low energy, resilience to climate change, resources and waste among others to inspire actions in the UK. Can be applied elsewhere.
WHO atlas of disaster risk for the European region

The WHO Europe has published an atlas of disaster risk for the European region. It provides the baseline data and maps needed to assess where the potential for damage may be the greatest and to underpin the call for more resources to improve emergency preparedness, reduce the health risks to vulnerable populations and aid the emergency response.
Governing Public Hospitals

Governing public hospitals is looking at eight different country models of semi-autonomy of hospitals in Europe in the Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain. Looks at the shifting relationships between public sector decision-making and hospital level organisational behaviour.

Cleanmed Europe 2012

Date: 26-28 September, Malmö, Sweden 17-18 March 2011
Client Earth Shines Spotlight on Chemicals Management of EU Countries
Health Care Without Harm Europe’s own conference on creating healing environments. We are now accepting proposals that will be informative and relevant for the European healthcare sector. Deadline for Presentation Proposal is 10 February 2012. more

PVCfreeBloodBag Kick-off seminar

Date:7-8 Feb 2012 12-13 April 2011

Register for the PVCfreeBloodBag Kick-off seminar 7-8 Feb 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. This project aimes to show that it is possible to produce a PVC-free blood bag that fulfil requirement specification, including CE-labelling. Register before 25 January 2012. More information can be found here.
International Conference on Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services
11-13 April 2012

In Taipai, Taiwan, Call for abstracts open until 10 January 2012. more
Resilience Cities 2012, 3rd World Congress on Cities and Adaptation to Climate Change
3 May 2011

Resilient Cities 2012, from 12 to 15 May 2012, Bonn, Germany register here. The submission deadline is 10 January 2012.
Members Update

ChemSec, Sweden has published a factsheet on BPA in relining of water pipes. You can read more here.

The Jegrelius Institute for Applied Green Chemistry, Sweden is still looking for healthcare organisations to support their petition to demand a PVC-free blood bag. You can support their call here.
The Member State Committee of the European Chemicals Agency identified 4-tert-octyl phenol, as the first endocrine disruptor as a Substance of Very High Concern. This is a milestone and a step forward as this is the first Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (ECD) that goes onto the candidate list, and should give industry the signal for substitution.
The EU is in the process of overhauling their public procurement laws. After a consultation process the new legislative proposals have been published. The proposals will now be discussed at the EU Parliament and Council. HCWH Europe is part of a Brussels network on procurement (together with unions and fair trade organisations), and we have published position papers to procurement. If you want to get involved please contact Anja.
ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability have launched an online resource centre for sustainable procurement. Procurers can search by topic or resources, which will help them to implement sustainable procurement.
Activities on Climate
Health Care Without Harm organised the first Global Climate and Health Summit with ten major health sector partners and parallel to the UN climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa. Read the Summit Declaration here and endorse the Call to action here.
The Climate and Health Council held a conference on the health and security perspective of climate change on 17 Oct 2011. The statement of the conference has been signed by over 400 organisations and individuals from the medical research world. The statement can be still signed here.
As of 5 Dec 2011, European Member States have to ensure that for the purposes of temporary storage, metallic mercury is stored separately from other waste and for the storage site to have "engineered or natural barriers...to protect the environment against mercury emissions". An amended EU Directive on specific criteria for the storage of metallic mercury considered as waste comes into force immediately.

Restriction of mercury in several measuring devices is still being discussed at the European Chemicals Agency, most reports from committees and background can be found here.

For personal consumption: If you like sushi and want to keep your mercury intake low, check with the new free 'safe sushi' smartphone app from the Sierra Club for Androids and App Store.
Public Consultations
ECHA is running a public consultation on a 500 page report ‘proposal for a restriction’ submitted by the Danish Competent Authority for REACH on four phthalates (Diisobutyl phthalate, Dibutyl phthalate, Benzyl butyl phthalate, Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate). If you can add information you should do so by 16 March 2012.
The EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks has been asked to give opinions on the following BPA in medical devices and on nanosilver. For this there will be public consultations held. If you work on these issues be sure to comment on either here:

SCENIHR: The safety of the use of Bisphenol A in medical devices
SCENIHR: Nanosilver: safety, health and environmental effects and role in antimicrobial resistance

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