The Department of Health and Human Services today invited hospitals, health systems and other health sector organizations to join a voluntary initiative to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and increase their climate resilience. The initiative asks organizations to sign by June 3 a pledge to half their emissions by 2030, among other actions. The White House plans to host a meeting in June to highlight health sector progress in promoting climate actions.
AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said, “America’s hospitals and health systems see the public health effects of climate change first-hand, from buildings damaged during natural disasters to increases in asthma and other chronic conditions due to poor air quality. The social and structural factors that influence health, access to health insurance, exposure to pollution and other factors also result in some communities bearing a disproportionate burden from extreme climate-related events. That is why the AHA and our professional membership groups are already taking steps to help hospitals reduce the carbon footprints of facilities. The hospital field is committed to doing our part to reduce emissions and promote environmental stewardship, but we know we cannot do this alone. We urge the Biden Administration to pursue a collaborative approach with input from the entire health care field, regulators and experts as it identifies which tools and resources will be most helpful moving forward. We appreciate the Administration’s focus and dedication to this critical issue and, working together, we can maintain high standards for patient care and safety while taking steps to operate in a more sustainable way and reducing the impacts of climate on the health of all communities.”
AHA is a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector, a public-private partnership launched in 2021. NAM today announced more than 110 organizations from around the world have joined this effort.