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Ahead of COP26, the Oxford Medical School joined medical schools across the UK in the joint declaration of a Climate and Health Emergency. Oxford’s declaration was made after a joint campaign by medical students and faculty members to send a public warning about the devastating health impacts of the climate crisis.  

The declaration comes amidst a growing environmentalist movement by medical students and health professionals to highlight the effect of climate change on global health inequity. In the Medical School alone, this growing awareness has led to the development of a Special Study Theme in Planetary Health and Sustainable Healthcare and the creation of a new role leading thinking around Education in Sustainable Healthcare.

The founding of the student society ‘Oxford Medical Students for a Sustainable Future’, or ‘Oxford MS4SF’, alongside the launch of the Oxford Planetary Health Report Card (PHRC), in which medical students critically assess how well Oxford Medical School is addressing the climate crisis, has helped to identify areas for improvement and will continue to drive change.