Health Care Without Harm, the official Race to Zero healthcare partner, announced in a press release that more than 50 healthcare institutions, collectively representing more than 11,500 healthcare facilities in 21 countries, are part of the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign. In joining the Race to Zero, these organizations commit to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. They become part of the largest ever alliance outside of national governments committed to delivering a zero-carbon world in line with the Paris Agreement.
The healthcare organizations in Race to Zero include institutions ranging from individual public and private hospitals and health systems to entire provincial or state government health departments. In recent weeks several large health systems have signed on to this vital commitment. These systems include the Kerala Directorate of Health Services in India, the international private health care and insurance system, Bupa, and CommonSpirit Health in the United States. They demonstrate global leadership in the health care sector by committing to net zero emissions and taking immediate climate action.
“The climate crisis is a health crisis. It’s heartening that healthcare organizations worldwide are providing leadership to this crisis, said Sonia Roschnik, International Climate Policy Director, Health Care Without Harm. “They’re sending a strong message to governments to take climate action and protect public health by accelerating a transition away from fossil fuels,” Roschnik said.
“The climate crisis we are facing has a direct impact on the health of our patients, our people, and the communities we serve – and there is a disproportionate impact on the poor and vulnerable,” said Lloyd H. Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health. “At CommonSpirit, we recognize the undeniable link between health inequities and climate change, and our commitment to achieving net-zero emissions reflects our role as healthcare providers in addressing both.”
In the lead-up to COP26, Race to Zero healthcare leadership is part of a diverse and growing global health sector movement for climate action. National government ministries are making high-level commitments to healthcare decarbonization and resilience, while more than 45 million health professionals have called for aggressive action to protect people’s health from climate change.