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Climate change is a health emergency – so how should we respond?

About this event

The Big Issues Webinar Series

Following on from the conference programme at Futurebuild 2022, the Edge has curated these sessions highlighting some of the big issues that we are all probably aware of, but tend to put to one side as too difficult to resolve. These sessions interrogate these issues in the light of proposing solutions.

Climate change is a health emergency – so how should we respond?

Climate and ecological breakdown are intertwined and leading to an emerging crisis for human health across the planet with the physical impacts of heatwaves, food insecurity, reduced soil fertility, water shortages, extreme weather events, wildfires, the spread of diseases through mosquitoes which will be more prevalent in the UK as the result of climate change etc; the social and economic impacts of climate migration, economic breakdown all impacting on human physical and mental health. There are synergistic interactions between climate change and health and these are likely to be felt more intensely in urban areas in the UK, especially in those of social and economic deprivation with of course the global threat to rural workers, agricultural and food supply chains that will affect us all.

Our professional institutions, local authorities et al have declared “a climate and ecological emergency”. That is step one. Step two is taking action and this must be taken at all levels – personal and professional. Dr Hugh Montgomery will explain why climate change is the greatest threat to global health and set the scene for a conversation on how built environment professionals can and should respond as now is the time for positive responses, with no time for despair. There is much that built environment professionals can do to meet this emergency.

Curated by the Edge

Chair: Kristen Guida, Urban Resilience Team, Greater London Authority

Keynote:

Climate change is the biggest threat to human health in the 21st century

Dr Hugh Montgomery OBE, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, UCL and Director, UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance

Maria Dunn, Head of Development Policy at Birmingham City Council

Ann Marie Aguilar, Senior Vice President EMEA and IWBI

Questions co-ordinator: Julie Godefroy, Julie Godefroy Sustainability and the Edge

Hosted by

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    Robin Nicholson Fellow @ Cullinan Studio

  • Guest speaker
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    Ann Marie Aguilar Senior Vice President @ EMEA and IWBI

    Ann Marie Aguilar joined the IWBI team in 2016 and oversees the day-to-day activities of IWBI across the EMEA region. Her role is to support “early adopters” of the WELL Building Standard, by facilitating communication with IWBI technical experts to provide international translation, alternative adherence pathways and alignment with local sustainability rating tools. Ann Marie’s expertise in environmental sustainability and well-being has helped deliver strategic adoption of WELL into the UK, Ireland, continental Europe and the Middle East. She is also responsible for implementing new directives for research, growth, recruitment and education. She brings to IWBI a technical background in sustainability consulting, having worked for 11 years with Arup Associates, the architectural consulting arm of Arup in their London offices. Whilst there she developed Arup’s health and well-being consultancy offering across their global operations.

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    Kristen Guida Urban Resilience Team @ Greater London Authority

    Kristen became Urban Resilience Manager at the Greater London Authority in March 2022. Before that she worked for more than 15 years coordinating partnerships supporting climate change adaptation, as manager of the London Climate Change Partnership, and Director of Climate South East and Chair of Climate UK. Her major interest is in bringing together people and ideas from across sectors to respond to social and environmental resilience challenges. In particular, she is interested in the social justice issues raised by climate change and the need to incorporate equity in resilience planning. In her previous life, she worked on human rights, as a Senior Researcher on political rights, civil liberties and press freedom at Freedom House in New York.

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    Julie Godefroy Sustainability Consultant and Chartered Engineer @ the Edge

    Julie is a chartered engineer and sustainability consultant, working on independent projects and as CIBSE Technical Manager.

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    Maria Dunn Head of Development Policy @ Birmingham City Council

    Maria is a Chartered Town Planner with over 14 years’ experience in the public sector. Having previously held policy roles at Wyre Forest District Council and Worcester City Council Maria joined Birmingham City Council in January 2020 as Head of Development Policy. Maria’s current role includes leading planning policy, economic policy, and transport policy for Birmingham. Maria chaired RTPI West Midlands in 2018 and is a member of the RTPI West Midlands Regional Management Board. Maria was named the West Midlands Young Planner of the Year in 2013, was shortlisted for the national Young Planner of the Year in 2014 and was featured in The Planner’s Women of Influence in 2019.

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    Dr Hugh Montgomery OBE Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, UCL, @ Chair, Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change

    As UCL’s Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, HUGH MONTGOMERY directs the Centre for Human Health and Performance, with over 500 research publications and over 8 (inter)national research prizes/awards. Hugh chaired the two Lancet Commissions, and now the 35-institition 27-country Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. He’s briefed policymakers (inter)nationally; was appointed London Leader by Greater London Authority’s Sustainable Development Commission; attended many international ‘COP’ negotiations; & led the children’s climate education ‘Project Genie’. Hugh has appeared frequently on television (e.g. presenting the five 2007 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures), most recently in a 2021 documentary on Climate Change and floods.