Health Care Without Harm launched a new global road map at the 2021 Skoll World Forum. This new navigational guide for the health sector aims to set a course toward zero-emissions health care for a more resilient, sustainable, and healthy future.
The U.S. health care system ranked first out of 68 nations in carbon emissions and needs to reduce these emissions rapidly. If the U.S. health care sector implemented the seven high-impact actions identified in the report – renewable electricity, zero-emissions buildings, zero-emissions travel, sustainable food, low-carbon pharmaceuticals, circular health care products, and increased effectiveness – emissions reduction would be equivalent to the annual emissions of Mexico and Canada combined. Health care must mobilize its ethical, economic, and political clout to influence and accelerate broader societal climate action to protect public health from the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
The launch at the 2021 Skoll World Forum included speakers from Health Care Without Harm, WHO, and U.N., a poem from U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera, and a song from musician and climate activist Mia Kami.
The Road Map made global and national headlines in the United States.
- Forbes wrote that if the guide’s recommendations are widely implemented, it could “put a significant dent in the health care sector's emissions.”
- Reuters said our new road map is “setting out ways for the health sector to reach net-zero admissions.” Read more about how hospitals and health systems can mitigate climate change by utilizing our new navigational tool.
- Politico’s Global Pulse included a spotlight on the road map in their Earth Day newsletter.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation News published an op-ed by Health Care Without Harm’s international program and strategy director Josh Karliner asserting that, “the health sector reinvent itself to address its own role in the climate crisis.”
Praise during a leadership exchange
Former CMS administrator Donald Berwick praised the road map during a recent conversation with Health Care Without Harm on COVID-19 and the climate crisis.