EbM Conference 2023

Health and Climate - EbM for future

22.-24.03.2023 in Potsdam

Invitation

Dear colleagues, EbM Network members, and those interested in EbM,

The fact that the climate crisis is not only an issue, but THE issue, directly affecting humanity and posing an existential threat, has by now been acknowledged by science, business, society and politics. We are already, here and now, feeling the effects on our health of climate change and overstepping the limits of our planet, not only in the southern hemisphere, which in some cases is already existentially affected, but also in the northern hemisphere. The WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths are caused each year by damage done to the environment, deaths which could be avoided. Heat and fine dust, extreme weather situations and pandemics affect poor population groups with disproportionate frequency and impact – worldwide. This means that the climate crisis is closely linked to issues of social justice. The United Nations has been pointing this out for years in the AGENDA 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and outlines strategies that can effectively combat the causes and reduce the consequences.

According to the UN, these goals can be achieved not only by thinking of them and tackling them as a network but also by considerably transforming our own ways of thinking and living. The concept of “Planetary Health” is an attempt to consider the connections between human health and natural, political, economic and social systems more as a network and to understand them in that way. At the annual conference in 2023, where we will also be celebrating 25 years of EbM networking, we want to discuss the necessary steps towards this. Is “EbM as usual” appropriate in the face of the crises of our planet? What is the best available evidence – from the point of view of EbM – with regard to the complex interrelationships of “planetary health”? What concrete concepts are there for climate-friendly practices, hospitals and towns and a sustainable healthcare system, and how can we measure the effects? What can the EbM of the future look like? In Potsdam, a center of climate research, and in a hybrid congress format, we would like to address this range of issues in collaboration with climate researchers, representatives from the WHO and politics, and activists. The founding of the working group Climate Change and Health in the EbM network is a first step and the group will be actively involved in preparing the annual conference.

One aim of the conference is to set up an “inventory” of the present situation and you are cordially invited to submit contributions to this:

  • Connections between climate change, social justice and effects on health
  • Influence of healthcare on the climate change and innovative concepts for climate-friendly (health) structures
  • Integration of the consequences of the climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals into policies and guidelines
  • Interventions to reduce the consequences of climate adaptations and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Forms of (scientific) communication, teaching and implementation for sustainable healthcare

In addition, we would like to open up a space to think “differently” and to question previous scientific methods, practices and implementation strategies self-reflectively:

  • What does the concept of Planetary Health mean for the work of the EbM network?
  • What methods could we use to understand the complex connections between climate change, social justice and health? Where are new approaches needed?
  • What evidence do we have to generate and what surrogate parameters can we accept in order to investigate the causes of the climate crisis and their impact on health?
  • What additional expertise does the EbM network need to provide appropriate evidence for the 21st century? How can EbM contribute to a resilient healthcare system?

Besides submitting abstracts for the „inventory”, we would like to invite the network members, scientists from the fields of public health, social, economic and climate research, and activists to send us contributions on innovative analyses and ideas, creative forms of communication and implementation, which can be presented as lectures or exhibited during the conference in a “space of possibilities” and in interactive formats.

Together with keynote speakers from climate research, the WHO and politics we will discuss the aims and limits of our work to date in terms of content, methods and self-image, as well as the possibilities and opportunities for tackling the challenge together. The decisive factor is that the further development of EbM and its methods profits from the contributions, regardless of the topic.

According to the “Lancet” when the United Nations presented their Sustainable Development Goals, every crisis is also an opportunity – overcoming the climate crisis could be the greatest opportunity for global health in the 21st century.

Join us - digitally or in person - at our annual conference, which we will of course be organizing as climate-friendly as possible.We look forward to your participation and involvement.

Prof. Dr. med. Dipl. Soz. Tanja Krones
Chair of the EbM Network and president of the conference
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