Discussion paper outlines approaches for improving the environmental sustainability of healthcare

7 April 2022

The Health Policy Partnership (HPP) and AstraZeneca have developed a joint discussion paper that offers decision-makers and healthcare practitioners an overview of the reciprocal relationship between climate change, health and healthcare. Decarbonising healthcare: a discussion paper contains suggestions for how health systems can reduce their carbon emissions. It is based on the latest research evidence and insights from experts in health and sustainability.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contains startling insights into how climate change is affecting our health. If we are to meet international goals on climate change mitigation, we need to focus on healthcare. Recognising this, 50 countries have pledged to decarbonise their health systems by 2050.

The theme of World Health Day 2022 is ‘Our planet, our health’, acknowledging the link between human health and the health of the planet. Global air pollution alone caused around 7 million deaths in 2016. Yet the health systems that bear the brunt of worsening health are also significant contributors to climate change, accounting for almost 5% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

Decarbonising healthcare: a discussion paper highlights key areas of focus for decarbonising health systems at every step of care delivery: prevention, digital approaches and remote delivery of care, community-based care, and more efficient care pathway design. In collaboration with an expert advisory group, we will develop the discussion paper into a full policy paper for publication later this year.


Download the discussion paper 


Find out more on the project page.