Towards a more sustainable ESMO
Activities and responsibilities:
- Assess the environmental impact of ESMO activities
- Evaluate the potential effect of different interventions to lower carbon emissions of ESMO events
- Provide recommendations to ESMO on approaches and interventions to reduce emissions across the organisation and its activities
- Co-organize the Train To ESMO in collaboration with the ESMO Young Oncologists Committee, helping to develop new sustainable meeting concepts
Combatting climate change is one of the major challenges of our time. As the climate gets warmer a long list of secondary consequences are predicted, this includes increased sea levels, more frequent extreme weather events and increased spread of diseases. It will inevitably lead to unprecedented health risks, including increased cancer incidence as well as disturbances in cancer care delivery. Thus, ESMO must balance its goal to educate oncology stakeholders and improve care for cancer patients with the environmental impact of its activities.
The core aim of the Climate Change Task Force is to make ESMO activities more sustainable. The first report produced by the Task Force estimated greenhouse gas emissions from important ESMO activities and indicates that on average an attendee at the ESMO annual congress generates about 1500kg of CO2. This is equivalent to the yearly emissions from an inhabitant in Colombia and only just below the yearly individual carbon budget proposed by the United Nations. As our world starts to heal from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, ESMO has a unique opportunity to “build-back-better” and the role of the Climate Change Task Force is to provide advice and new sustainable meeting concepts to guide this process.
The Climate Change Task Force was launched in 2019 and has a mandate of two years. The Task Force sits within the Membership Division reporting to Susana Banerjee as Director of Membership.
- Joakim Crona, Sweden