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Press release from the SMI 04 November 2021

Decarbonisation of the global healthcare system is the priority for new Taskforce launched at COP26

The task force will drive recommendations and actions in support of a sustainable health system.

Download the full press release here

For the first time, a unique collaboration of leaders from global life sciences, international institutions, healthcare systems, academia and policymakers have come together to form a Health Systems Taskforce as part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales convened the Taskforce to accelerate the delivery of net zero, sustainable healthcare to improve individual, societal and planetary health.

The climate emergency is also a public health emergency, contributing to an increase in chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and respiratory illnesses. Air pollution as a result of emissions and pollutants is estimated to kill over eight million people per annum.i The healthcare sector has a vital role to play in mitigating against and treating the impact of the climate crisis. The healthcare sector is estimated to produce approximately 4.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.ii

Recognising that more must be done to drive the sustainable transition, members of the Taskforce are committed to developing a collective roadmap to accelerate the delivery of a net zero, sustainable health system.

Championed by AstraZeneca’s Chief Executive Officer, Pascal Soriot, the Health Systems Taskforce includes CEO and equivalent-level representation from GSK, Merck, Roche, Samsung Biologics, Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, NHS England, the Sustainable Healthcare Coalition, the Health and Global Policy Institute of Japan, the Karolinska Institutet and the University of Pavia. The group has been formally launched at COP26 in Glasgow to seize upon the momentum created by the gathering of global leaders to tackle climate change.

https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/public-health-and-environment#:~:text=WHO%20global%20strategy%20on%20health,deaths)%2C%20and ii Lenzen, Manfred. “The Environmental Footprint of Health: A Global Assessment”. The Lancet Journal, 2020.

https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2542-5196%2820%2930121-2