THE CLIMATE COUNCIL welcomes leading Australian medical bodies calling for the healthcare sector to commit to net zero emissions by 2040.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) also want emissions cut by 80 percent by 2030.
“The AMA and DEA have shown leadership by calling for the healthcare sector to achieve net zero emissions. Just as we forbid smoking and prohibit asbestos in buildings, we must phase out fossil fuels from our facilities, and shift to renewable energy,” said Climate Council spokesperson, public health physician and DEA member, Dr Kate Charlesworth.
“Australia’s health system is a big polluter, largely powered by fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, which are driving climate change. The sector accounts for seven percent of Australia’s emissions-the same as the total emissions of South Australia,” she said.
Healthcare systems internationally, and at the state and territory level, are already stepping up, with the world’s largest healthcare system, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) aiming for net zero by 2040.
“In Australia, the ACT is on track to be the first fully renewable energy-powered hospital in Australia, and Queensland has pledged to expand its solar and energy efficiency scheme in its hospitals,” said Dr Charlesworth.
“Every state and territory is also committed to a net zero target. We must build on these efforts with a unified national approach to climate leadership in the healthcare sector, and a strong federal net zero target,” she said.