Climate change has been identified as the biggest health threat of the 21st century . Rooting planetary health principles in the education and practice of health professionals equips them with the tools to meet the health challenges of climate change. Given that health professionals are among the most trusted members of society  and their unique position as mediators between policy, science and practice, they are well-placed to effect changes on an individual and systemic level to reduce the ecological footprint .
A survey of the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education (GCCHE)  between 2017 and 2018 indicates that 53% of schools offered education on the health impacts of climate change . However, the response rate was just over 50%, and European medical schools are largely underrepresented in the consortium, with only five members in 2021 . In 2018, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA)  has called on medical schools to offer education on climate impacts on health and sustainable health care . Another survey distributed through IFMSA communication channels between 2019-2020 showed that of 2,817 medical schools surveyed in 218 countries, only 15 % had integrated climate change and health into their curricula . The unmet educational need further becomes evident in a recent multinational survey of over 4,000 health professionals who listed a lack of knowledge as a major impediment to engaging with patients, the public and policymakers on the topic of health impacts of climate change .