Tuesday 14 April 2020

Coronavirus patients in New Zealand ‘fly carbon neutral’

Coronavirus patients in New Zealand ‘fly carbon neutral’

Health care provider Northland DHB is now transferring patients between hospitals with carbon-neutral flights in New Zealand.

Recognising the urgency to prevent global warming exceeding 1.5 °C, the health organisation has increased its commitment to further reduce its carbon emissions by 2030.

It has announced it is offsetting helicopter and patient flights, converting its light fleet to electric vehicles before 2025 and switching its heavy fleet before 2030 to support net zero targets.

The organisation also plans to roll out a green star rating for new hospital buildings under a newly-announced $10 million (£4.8m) investment and ditch new gas or other fossil-fueled boilers and equipment.

It says their surgical department has made significant reductions in the use of medical gases, particularly desflurane, a product with a very high global warming potential, which was halved in the last year alone, avoiding almost 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

A spokesperson of Northland DHB, said: “All patients of the Northland DHB that require transfer by helicopter or plane now fly carbon-neutral.

"Besides measures to mitigate carbon emissions buying carbon credits is part of the actions taken to reach the 2030 reduction target. The purchased carbon credits are ‘native’ and come from the Rarakau Rainforest Carbon Project in Southland.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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