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The Global Road Map for Health Care Decarbonization

Building on our award-winning collaboration in 2019, Arup and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) have produced the world’s first decarbonisation road map for health care globally. If no further climate action is taken, the emissions footprint of health care could triple by 2050, leading to worse health outcomes, increased chances of pandemics and a more unstable climate. The road map charts a different path; through three climate action pathways driven by seven high impact actions the report shows how health care can instead reduce its footprint, reduce the likelihood of future pandemics, improve health outcomes and become more resilient.

Working closely with HCWH’s climate experts, Arup drew on global data sources and used advanced analysis techniques to understand how health care’s footprint might change through to 2050, and modelled the potential impact of dozens of actions across health care operations, health care’s supply chain and the wider economy. Often with access to only limited data, we creatively customised our analyses to consider health care sector-specific climate impacts such as anaesthetic gases and meter-dosed inhalers (MDIs). 

This project was made possible by funding from the Skoll and IKEA Foundations, and was supported by a Technical Advisory Group comprising members from WHO, UNDP, World Bank, NHS, Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research among others. Arup continue to support HCWH on the next phases of their ambitious Climate Smart Health Care programme.

Download the report

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