Climate Action

Air pollution, heat waves, and other climate-change disruption effects will intensify existing illnesses such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Although climate change underpins all the social and environmental determinants of health, addressing it can produce numerous positive public health benefits.

The Irish Heart Foundation is committed to promoting the public health element of climate change and campaign for greater action to tackle this unprecedented climate and health crisis. Air pollution, high temperatures, and sedentary lifestyles facilitated by an increasing car culture, are all detrimental to the cardiovascular system.

Air Pollution

In Ireland every year, over 1,400 deaths are attributable to air pollution and the majority of these are due to heart disease and strokes.

We campaign for measures that will result in cleaner air, including:

Air Pollution and Mortality on the Island of Ireland:

In July 2021, we received funding from the Community Foundation All-Island Communities Fund to entrust a team at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and Technological University Dublin (TUD) to conduct research into air pollution and mortality on the island of Ireland.

Using data from 2019, the most recent year unaffected by COVID-19, their report estimates the number of premature deaths associated with fine particulate matter air pollution exposure across the island of Ireland and estimates the number of lives that could be saved by meeting WHO 2021 Air Quality Guidelines and other scenarios.

The Irish Heart Foundation together with the British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland commissioned the Air Pollution and Mortality on the Island of Ireland report. Please find the full report here and a shorter briefing document here.

Air Pollution and Mortality

on the Island of Ireland

Read Report

Active Travel

Ireland’s car commuter culture is contributing to rising levels of air pollution such as Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) which is damaging to both human and planetary health, while also leading to an increased sedentary lifestyle.

Moving away from private vehicle use and towards active forms of travel such as walking, cycling, and public transport not only benefits the planet but is vastly better for your cardiovascular health.

We campaign for measures to increase active travel, including:

Climate and Health Alliance

The Irish Heart Foundation was a founding member of the Climate and Health Alliance, an organisation made up several public health organisations and advocacy groups from around the island of Ireland.

Our website can be found here – – if your public health or advocacy group believes more action is required to address the escalating climate crisis and the consequential health crisis then please contact us today at

The Climate and Health Alliance launched its Sustainable Diets report entitled ‘Fixing Food Together’ in May 2023 at a landmark conference that featured a host of domestic and international speakers and experts. The report aims to tackle the increasingly fraught subject from a new health-focused perspective and points to how moving towards a healthier and more sustainable food system can support a more sustainable agriculture sector with lower emissions and promote better health for all people in Ireland.

Fixing Food Together

Fixing Food Together: Transitioning Ireland to a healthy and sustainable food system.

Learn More

How can you help in our mission?

If you are a member of the public and would like to assist in our campaigns for a healthier planet, please contact our Advocacy Officer Mark Murphy on

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