Proposals to drastically cut emissions across all National Health Service (NHS) sites in the UK mean that hospitals could soon be forced to review their heating and ventilation strategies on an annual basis.
The NHS currently produces about 3% of England’s total carbon dioxide emissions, or 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, and is the largest public sector contributor to climate change.
The Carbon Reduction Strategy, a draft for consultation, commits the NHS to reduce these emissions by 60% by 2050 in all areas, including procurement, travel and building energy use, and sets out ways that this can be achieved.
The strategy shows where NHS carbon dioxide emissions are coming from and proposes actions for reducing that carbon footprint, such as for all NHS bodies to have their own Carbon Management Strategy by 2009, and for organisations to report annually on their sustainable development progress.
Launching the strategy, health minister Ivan Lewis said: “Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our health and well-being.”
“As part of our commitment to sustainable development we will work with the NHS to enable organisations to reduce their carbon footprints. Climate change also has real health implications, and so we are taking action to help people adapt to our changing climate.”
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