Koh H, McCarthy GA. Private and Public Sector Responses to Climate Change. JAMA Forum Archive. Published online March 28, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2018.0013
Three developments in late 2017 heightened attention to the critical intersection between science, climate change, and health:
All these developments heighten urgency for climate change action, including decreasing reliance on carbon-intense fuels, reducing energy consumption, and improving fuel economy. As the US government has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement by November 2020, private and nonfederal public-sector leaders are striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26% below 2005 levels by 2025.
A global effort, the 2020 Healthcare Climate Challenge, involves 160 participants representing more than 14 000 health institutions in 24 countries. Many US health systems and hospitals are contributing to such efforts through partnerships with organizations such as the American Hospital Association, US Environmental Protection Agency, and American Nurses Association. For example, Health Care Without Harm urges health professionals and systems to adopt more sustainable and efficient energy sources and has collaborated with about 1600 hospitals to adopt best practices (in areas that include ventilation, heating, cooling, and lighting). Practice Green Health advocates tracking progress in reducing health care facility–related pollution through 6 challenge areas (including engaged leadership, healthier food, and less waste).
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