Every year the World Environment Day inspires millions of people to take action for the sake of the planet by contributing to different events and projects around the world. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has chosen Air Pollution as the theme for this year and encourages everyone to raise awareness of this crucial issue via their official website and with their official hashtag #BeatAirPollution. As air pollution and climate change are closely related, reducing air pollution is one of the most important steps in the fight against climate change and its impacts on people’s lives.

As a healthcare student association, we recognize that climate change is a big threat to public health and therefore we commit to advocating for and taking action towards a climate-resilient Europe. In our recent policy statement on climate change and health, we call on European countries to reaffirm their commitments for sustainable, innovative and adaptive national policies on climate change and its impacts on health and wellbeing. Our policy statement can be viewed here.

The European Parliament Elections are important milestones for the policies created in the next five years. As the future doctors of Europe, EMSA released a Manifesto for the elections and called upon the next European Parliament to take action for several issues, one of which was a climate-resilient Europe. Our Manifesto for the 2019 European Parliament Elections can be viewed here.

As the European Medical Students’ Association, we pledge our contribution to the fight against air pollution and climate change on this World Environment Day:

  • We seek to raise awareness of climate-related health conditions amongst medical students and the general public.
  • We call upon academia to update the curriculum and educate medical and healthcare students on the health impacts of air pollution and climate change.
  • We aim to be active role models in reducing our individual and collective climate impact in our personal and professional lives.
  • We aim to foster meaningful youth participation with local, regional and international climate action and air quality initiatives.

We celebrate the World Environment Day to show our stance and vision for our globe. We are determined to fight for our planet and all those living on it.

Together, we can be the generation that brings the change.