Healthcare Sector is the World’s 5th Largest Emitter of Greenhouse Gases

According to a new study conducted by Healthcare Without Harm, if the global health care sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet. Not only are doctors, nurses and health facilities all first responders to the impacts of climate change, but hospitals and health care systems paradoxically make a major contribution to the climate crisis.

When we asked Josh Karliner,one of the report’s authors, what he found most surprising about the findings he responded by outlining the immense potential that the healthcare sector has to limit global emissions:

For health care to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or before, we will need to decarbonize the global supply chain, which constitutes 71% of the sector’s climate footprint. This means that pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment will need to be produced with 100% renewable energy, that transportation of these goods will need to be based on fossil fuel-free technology, and more. Many hospitals and health systems around the world are beginning to develop procurement strategies that can help accelerate this transition by focusing on carbon reduction.”

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