Intended for healthcare professionals


MPs will be briefed on climate change after health leaders back hunger striker’s demands

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 20 April 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1008

Open letter

Senior health professionals call for urgent climate briefing of all MPs by the chief scientific adviser: open letter to PM

  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. The BMJ

A man ended a hunger strike of more than five weeks outside the UK parliament on 19 April after it was confirmed that MPs would be briefed on the climate crisis by the chief scientific officer, Patrick Vallance.

The decision was made four days after senior health professionals, including the current and former editors in chief of The BMJ, wrote to the prime minister urging him to commit to holding a briefing.12

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change, chaired by Caroline Lucas, has said that it will be happy to host the briefings and that these will take place in the next two months. They will be recorded and made available to the public.

Several other briefings by Vallance on climate change are also planned, including to the Cabinet committee on Climate Action Implementation, to the Lords Select Committee on Climate Change, and to a Science Advice for Policy meeting at the Royal Society.

Angus Rose began his hunger strike on 14 March. He made clear that he did not want to die but was prepared to do so because he was “terrified” for the future of his nephews and niece.

He began eating again on 19 April and was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London overnight for checks and observation and is reported to be doing well.

The letter from health leaders emphasised that Rose’s demand was “not unreasonable,” that he was of “sound mind,” and that agreeing to the briefing would prevent his death.12 It followed a similar open letter on 10 April to Greg Hands, minister of state for energy, clean growth and climate change, from more than 70 eminent scientists.3

Last year the Swiss Federal Assembly agreed to receive a briefing on the climate crisis from scientists after Guillermo Fernande went on hunger strike for 39 days to raise awareness of climate change.45


  • Correction: We amended the title and opening three paragraphs of this article on 21 April 2022, as the previous version incorrectly said that the government had agreed for the briefings to MPs to take place, rather than the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change.