The Environmental Audit Committee has expressed concern that the government is failing to tackle carbon emissions from the NHS.
In a report published in September last year, the Committee urged the government to end coal and oil-powered heating at NHS sites.
The Committee has said today (June 17) that the government has failed to provide any firm commitments to bring forward targets to phase out oil and coal.
The NHS has missed the climate change targets of a reduction in emissions by 34% by 2020, the committee has highlighted that decarbonising these sites in line with targets is essential if the government is to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
One of the committee’s key recommendations in the report published today is for the government to set a plan to maintain food security, to reach national and international biodiversity targets, to recommend a faster transition away from domestic gas heating and to plant more trees and increase urban green space.
Environmental Audit Committee chairman, Philip Dunne MP, said: ‘The NHS is important to so many of us throughout the UK, and has been particularly evident during the magnificent response of all its staff to the global pandemic.
‘As we get closer to 2050, and the necessity to reach net-zero carbon emissions, we cannot be complacent of the significant role the NHS will play. It must decarbonise its estates urgently, it must phase out oil and gas heating, and must make better use of zero-emission vehicles.
‘The Committee’s inquiry was clear that unless urgent action is taken to tackle climate change, there could be significant consequences for human health and food security.
‘It is imperative that these issues are considered carefully by the Government, and the Committee will continue to monitor work in this area.’
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