The 2022 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement– often regarded as the ‘Nobel Prize for the Environment’ – will be awarded to British physician Sir Andy Haines, one of the first scientists to sound the alarm that changes to the natural environment have dangerous implications for human health. Sir Andy Haines has been a crucial collaborator of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) in recent years, co-chairing the EASAC project on the impact of climate change on human health and also leading on a global project of science academies on the same issue.
Haines worked as a family doctor in London before he went on to practice in countries such as Jamaica and Nepal. His work treating patients in low-income settings influenced his later career, making him realise the link between ill-health and environmental changes.
EASAC President Christina Moberg said:
“Sir Andy’s contribution to establishing and expanding the evidence base for climate policies in and beyond Europe cannot be rated high enough. As co-chair of EASAC’s working group for Climate Change and Health, he has been a key force in this important and new scientific field. The Tyler Award is important as it spreads optimism and gives support to pioneers like Andy Haines, who are indispensable for solving some of the greatest challenges to human survival.”
Haines, who is Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health at the London School of Hygiene andTropical Medicine, says it is a “great honour and privilege” to be selected as the recipient of the 2022 Tyler Prize. He continues:
“I think it reflects the growing awareness that climate change isn’t just about damaging the environment – according to the World Health Organization, ‘climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity’. Our future depends on taking urgent action, to adapt to the changes we are already experiencing and to cut the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.”
According to the Tyler Prize official citation:
“Sir Andy Haines is being recognized for his contributions in understanding the effects of climate change on public health, his leadership in expanding the scope of public health to one of Planetary Health, and for his mentorship of the next generation of health scientists and practitioners in preventive environmental health actions in the 21st century.”
As Tyler Prize recipient, Sir Andy Haines is in the illustrious company of world-renowned researchers such as English primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, who have made an outstanding contribution to the fight for the environment.