The Healthy Energy Initiative is mobilizing the health sector to play a central role advocating for a move away from fossil fuel-based power generation—particularly coal—and toward clean, renewable healthy energy options.
The Initiative is led by Health Care Without Harm and is comprised of a network of partners made up of health professionals, health organizations, and academic research institutions, from around the world. The Healthy Energy Initiative is based on the growing scientific consensus that fossil fuel-based energy generation, particularly coal, has serious consequences for human health, locally and globally. We know that fossil fuel combustion is the greatest contributer to greenhouse gas emissions world wide, with coal being the most serious culprit. Fossil fuels are also a major contributor to air pollution, which kills more than 7 million people every year—double the toll from malaria, HIV-AIDs and tuberculosis combined.
A transition to a low carbon economy increasingly based on clean, renewable energy such as solar and wind will not only protect public health from climate change, it will also have immediate health benefits for large portions of the world’s population currently suffering from the impacts of air pollution.
The Healthy Energy Initiative is working toward this vision of a clean energy future through a series of approaches including supporting top-notch research on the health impacts of energy choices, developing educational materials for health professionals and the general public, promoting health sector divestment from coal, and advocating for energy policies at the local, national and global level that promote public health.