The climate crisis is a health crisis.

Climate change is the ‘single biggest health threat facing humanity’ – World Health Organization

The 2022 Joint Public Health Conference is one of the first major conferences to highlight the impacts of climate change on population health on the island of Ireland.

On 30 November hundreds of health professionals, researchers and policymakers, from across Ireland and Northern Ireland and beyond, will come together at the Healthy Planet, Healthy People conference to consider the potential impacts of climate change on health, as well as the potential health benefits of taking climate action.

This virtual conference will hear from global experts who will discuss the challenges posed by the climate crisis, but also the substantial co-benefits for health that accompany action on climate change.

Aims of the Healthy Planet, Healthy People conference:

  • To outline how the global climate crisis is impacting population health and the challenges posed to the island of Ireland
  • To highlight the substantial co-benefits for health that climate action can bring – for population health and wellbeing, the environment and the economy
  • To consider the local response to the climate crisis, including the social determinants of health, Health in all Policies and a formal commitment to net zero in our healthcare systems
  • To stimulate policy action across health and other policy sectors.

The one-day conference will be opened by Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government.

Confirmed keynote speakers also include Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health and Environment, Dr Nick Watts, NHS Chief Sustainability Officer, and Professor John Barry, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, QUB.

Sustainability in healthcare will also be a key theme of the online conference, which will consider how healthcare workers, public health professionals and policy makers can respond to the challenges posed.

The Healthy Planet, Healthy People conference will also highlight the latest public health research, interventions and innovation in the area of health and climate change and feature 12 presentations as part of the programme.

‘Climate change is the greatest global health threat facing the world in the 21st century, but it is also the greatest opportunity to redefine the social and environmental determinants of health’

– The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change –

Conference Speakers

Sir Patrick Vallance

Sir Patrick Vallance FRS FMedSci FRCP is Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government. He also serves as National Technology Adviser (NTA) and Head of the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) Profession.

Dr. Jenny Mack

Dr Jenny Mack is a Public Health Medicine Consultant at the Institute of Public Health and a member of the Faculty of Public Health. Dr Mack is chairing the conference and has an interest in climate change and health, health inequalities, among other policy areas.

Dr. Maria Neira

Dr Neira is the Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO). She was appointed in 1999 as Director of the Department of Control, Prevention and Eradication at WHO. Prior to that, Dr Neira had been working for WHO in Geneva since 1993, as Coordinator of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control.

Dr. Nick Watts

Dr Nick Watts is the Chief Sustainability Officer of the NHS, responsible for its commitment to deliver a world-class net zero emission health service. He leads the Greener NHS team, which focuses on improving the health of patients and the public through a robust and accelerated response to climate change and the broader sustainability agenda.

Professor John Barry

John Barry is Professor of Green Political Economy in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queens University Belfast.

12 Abstract Presentators

The conference programme will feature 12 short oral presentations, selected from a recent call for abstracts, to showcase the latest innovations, research and practice in two parallel sessions. The programme will also include a selection of digital posters.

Climate change is the ‘single biggest health threat facing humanity’

– World Health Organization –

Conference Programme

Conference Partners

The Joint North-South Public Health Conference is jointly organised by the Institute of Public Health, Public Health Agency, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, University College Cork and HSE Health & Wellbeing.

HSE