All UK health services have committed to achieving net zero emissions through a new global health programme announced at COP26 today.
Alongside the UK, 47 countries have made pledges to develop low carbon and climate resilient health systems.
The worldwide carbon footprint of health systems is responsible for 5% of all global emissions, meaning if they were a country, they would be the fifth largest emitter.
The government is investing more than £280 million in decarbonising the NHS estate in England through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and will now ensure net zero is at the heart of all health services in the country, with continual reviews in place.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “As a health community, we cannot simply sit on the sidelines – we must respond to climate change through urgent action, with global collaboration at its core.
“I am delighted that all four UK health services are pledging to become net zero and it is brilliant news that dozens of countries have joined the UK in committing to reduce carbon emissions from their health systems – significantly cutting greenhouse gas output around the world.”