NHS commits to net-zero by 2040

In an announcement made yesterday (October 1), NHS England has made a commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. 

In the announcement, the NHS has said that they will build on work already being done to share ideas on how to reduce emissions.

They have pledged to reach an 80% reduction in emissions by 2028 -2032 and they will also aim to reach net-zero in the wider supply chain by 2045.

The NHS is a £140.4bn organisation, making up one-tenth of England’s economy while also being directly responsible for 4% of the country’s carbon emissions.

In May 2020, over 40 million doctors, nurses and other health professionals signed a letter calling for a ‘healthy recovery’ from COVID-19. The letter emphasised the need to make progress on climate change and sustainable environment.

Jeni Miller, executive director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) commented on this announcement: ‘NHS England’s promise to eliminate its net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 sets an extraordinary example for the health sector around the world of the kind of climate action we need.

‘This decision by NHS England aligns with robust scientific evidence on just how serious a threat climate change represents for human health and puts England’s health service on a path that supports a more resilient, sustainable, and a healthier future.

‘Though we are still grappling with a devastating pandemic, health leaders have a responsibility to manage the other health threats on the horizon. The NHS commitment clearly recognises this and must serve as inspiration for health services worldwide to do the same.

‘For a healthy recovery from Covid-19 and a safe and healthy future, we’ve got to invest in strengthening our health systems, hand in hand with protecting the environment on which people’s health depends. The health sector is leading, but to fully address the climate crisis — which is a health crisis — we need governments to step up too.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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Pippa Neill

Pippa Neill

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