Towards Climate-Smart Health Care
Mitigation and Anchoring Community Resilience
In 2017 the World Bank published a report, co-produced with Health Care Without Harm, establishing a new approach that bridges the divide between adaptation and mitigation in the health sector. While mitigation and resilience are often placed in separate silos in the climate world, the “Climate-Smart Healthcare” approach encompasses both low-carbon and resilience strategies in an overarching framework.
Indeed, as hospitals and health systems explore opportunities to address climate change, they are finding significant overlap and synergy between mitigation measures and climate change resilience interventions.
Many resilience strategies also contribute to climate mitigation and vice versa—for example, siting health facilities with access to public transportation, deploying on-site energy generation including solar and other renewable sources, combined heat and power, building with natural ventilation, purchasing energy-efficient medical devices, and changes in health delivery such as telemedicine contribute to both system resilience and carbon footprint reduction.
By jointly implementing resiliency and de-carbonization strategies within the sector, climate-smart health care can reduce emissions from large systems. This approach can form a foundation from which health care can contribute to broader policy, economic and communications initiatives in concert with both global climate and health goals.
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