Climate change poses a major threat to our health. Tackling climate change through reducing harmful carbon emissions will improve health and save lives. Here in the UK, air pollution is the single greatest environmental threat to human health, accounting for 1 in 20 deaths. Reducing emissions will mean fewer cases of asthma, cancer and heart disease.
In response to the health threat posed by climate change, the NHS became the world’s first health service to commit to a target of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
We know that NHS staff overwhelmingly support a greener NHS – almost nine in ten support the NHS net zero ambition. And this support is turning into action. Since 2010, the NHS has cut its carbon emissions by 30%. One year on from setting our net zero targets, the NHS is on track to reduce its emissions equivalent to powering 1.1. million homes for a year.
This is thanks to NHS staff pioneering greener ways to reduce emissions across medicines, transport and healthcare buildings, as well as finding lower-carbon ways to care. Crucially, these changes are already improving patient care today, as well as the health and wellbeing of staff, patients and the public.
In this video Dame Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive of Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust, shares how her organisation and others are helping to build a greener NHS – improving health now and for future generations.
NHS England's ‘Healthier planet. Healthier people’ campaign, developed in collaboration with people across the NHS from a diverse range of roles, brings to life the link between our health and that of our environment. It aims to help staff discover how the NHS is becoming greener – and how staff action is already helping to improve the delivery of care for patients today, as well as improving health now and for generations to come.
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