Healthcare’s climate footprint
- The top three emitters (the United States, China, and the European Union)are responsible for 56 per cent of the world’s total healthcare climate footprint.
- Japan, Russia, Brazil, India, North Korea, Canada, and Australia are the other countries in the top 10 list of countries.
- While India has the seventh-largest absolute health sector climate footprint, it has the lowest health-related emissions per capita of all 43 nations considered in the study.
- Dr Alex Thomas, president of Association of Health Care Providers, India, said though India ranked the lowest in health-related emissions per capita (0.03 metric tonnes), its global contribution is at par with countries like Australia, Canada and South Korea.
- India is vulnerable to climate change impacts and examples like how Chhattisgarh has helped reduce carbon emission need to be emulated. The state has shown how rooftop solar PV systems in primary health centres can reduce carbon emission.
- The report, “Health Care’s Climate Footprint- how the health sector contributes to the global climate crisis and opportunities for action”, provides the first-ever estimate on healthcare sector’s global climate footprint and calls on the sector to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas GHG emissions.
- The report released simultaneously at events in London and Medellin, Colombia makes the case for a transformation of the healthcare sector that aligns it with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees celsius.
- Fossil fuel consumption is at the heart of healthcare’s emissions. The lion’s share of emissions — 71 per cent is primarily derived from the healthcare supply chain through the production, transport, and disposal of goods and services.
- Emissions emanating directly from healthcare facilities and healthcare owned vehicles make up 17 per cent of the sector’s worldwide footprint.