Health care’s climate footprint: how the health sector contributes to the global climate crisis and opportunities for action

New report provides first-ever estimate of health care’s global climate footprint, calls for zero emissions. If the global health care sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet, according to Health care’s climate footprint: How the health sector contributes to the global climate crisis and opportunities for action, a new report by Health Care Without Harm in collaboration with Arup. Establishing the first-ever estimate of health care’s global climate footprint, the report finds health care’s footprint is equivalent to 4.4% of global net emissions (2 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent). Fossil fuel combustion makes up well over half of health care’s global climate footprint. Overall, health care emissions are equivalent to the annual greenhouse gases produced by 514 coal-fired power plants.

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