Decarbonising healthcare in low and middle income countries: potential pathways to net zero emissions

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Decarbonising healthcare in low and middle income countries: potential pathways to net zero emissions


JournalBMJ
Article typeJournal research article – Literature review
Publication date – Nov – 2021
Authors – Fawzia N Rasheed, Jerome Baddley, Poornima Prabhakaran, Enrique Falceto De Barros, K Srinath Reddy, Nelzair Araujo Vianna, Robert Marten
KeywordsHealth workers, healthcare, Low-and middle-income countries, World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA)
Open access – Yes
SpecialityHealth policy, Other
World region Global

Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on November 16, 2021 at 3:18 am
Abstract:

Healthcare in low and middle income countries has a high carbon footprint. Reducing emissions should be integral to plans for universal health coverage, say Fawzia Rasheed and colleagues

Considerable attention has been paid to the role that healthcare systems have in combating climate change.1 Recent analysis has calculated the global carbon footprint of healthcare as equivalent to 2-2.4 Gt of CO2, about 4-5% of total global emissions.23

The focus is often on reducing emissions in high income countries (HICs) and adaptation in low and middle income countries (LMICs).4 Few LMICs are included in studies on carbon emissions from healthcare.

This imbalance is understandable, given the greater relative contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from health systems in HICs and the disproportionate burden of climate change impacts on LMICs.56 Nevertheless, healthcare in LMICs is a carbon intensive activity and likely to grow with the delivery of commitments to universal health coverage (UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.8).

OSI Number – 21346

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