Back in 2019, the UK government committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, aiming to emit less carbon into the atmosphere than it takes out. Earlier this month, the NHS have gone even further by becoming the world’s first health system to commit to achieving net-zero emissions, they control directly by 2040. They have also said they aim to reduce the emissions they can influence to reach net-zero by 2045.
One of the main reasons that the NHS is committed to reaching net-zero emissions as soon as possible is due to it being responsible for about 4-5% of the UK’s carbon footprint. Their aim is to cut down on pollution and rely on schemes such as planting trees to help offset any emissions they would continue to release. By 2045 the NHS aim to introduce a new way to deliver care to people within their homes rather than patients travelling to and from healthcare providers, to further eliminate emissions.
The NHS is continuously progressing in sustainable healthcare, including reducing their carbon footprint by 62% in the past 30 years.
They have recently set two targets – for the emissions, the NHS can control directly, they are aiming for an interim 80% reduction in net zero emission by 2028-2032, in addition to this, they have also set an aim to reach 80% reduction in emissions for those they can influence by 2036-2039.
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