Carbon dioxide emissions from healthcare in the world’s

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  • 11 Jun 2019 12:00 AM
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Healthcare in World’s Largest Economies ‘accounts for 4 Percent’ of Global Emissions

Carbon dioxide emissions from healthcare in the world’s largest economies account for around 4 percent of global carbon footprints, according to a new study led by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The research found that the combined emissions from hospitals, health services and the medical supply chain across the OECD group of market-based economies, as well as China and India, make up around 4 percent of the global total. This is a larger share than either aviation or shipping. The paper presents the first comparable estimates of healthcare-related CO2 emissions for OECD countries. Healthcare itself is highlighted as a “significant cause” of the emissions driving these changes, but improvements have the potential to cut emissions and also improve public health. As the sector grows with ageing populations and medical advances, the authors say it is reasonable to expect emissions to grow as well. This news follows a study published earlier this month that found the pharmaceutical industry emits more greenhouse gases than the global car industry.

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