Decarbonisation of the Health Sector
The increasingly ambitious decarbonisation targets of the European Union require integrated action across all sectors to monitor and reduce carbon footprints. The health-care sector has rarely been included in discussions about public policy decarbonisation yet it contributes about 5% to total emissions. Moreover, mitigation measures within health systems can also bring local and near-term benefits to health, for example through greener hospitals, improved patient diets and new models of care (including digital health). Primary care systems can also contribute significantly to decarbonisation efforts both within primary care itself and by reducing/replacing demand for hospital services (secondary and tertiary care), alleviating pressures on supply chains, and informing and supporting patients and the wider community in sustainable lifestyles.