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Canberra Issues Health Care Decarbonization Pledge Aligned With US, UK Initiatives

Canberra Issues Health Care Decarbonization Pledge Aligned With US, UK Initiatives

The Australian government has declared that it will collaborate with the United States and the United Kingdom’s efforts to reduce the carbon emissions of health care supply chains.

The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care, which issued the statement of support in time for Monday’s Earth Day celebration, noted that the global supply chains of the medicine and health solutions that it imports account for about 75 percent of the carbon footprint of the country’s health sector.

Australia’s advocacy on decarbonizing global health care supply chains is aligned with the National Health and Climate Strategy it issued at the 28th United Nations Climate Conference in Dubai in December. Besides creating a sustainable, net zero emission health system, the strategy’s goals include international collaboration on green health care.

To collaborate in health care decarbonization, the department said Australia will join talks on green procurement, particularly on requiring suppliers’ disclosure of carbon emissions and targets for their reduction. It noted that Australia’s health workforce strongly supports decarbonizing the health system and the government’s coordination with states and territories to promote green health care procurement standards.

The U.K. National Health Service committed to net zero emissions in October 2020, the world’s first health care system to do so. In April 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made a similar pledge, with Ireland and Norway also issuing collaborative statements later. 

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