Health secretary Sajid Javid walks outside his home in London, Britain June 27, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

All four UK health services have committed to net zero carbon emissions, health secretary Sajid Javid announced today (November 9).

Lauding the commitment, Javid said: “As a health community, we cannot simply sit on the sidelines – we must respond to climate change through urgent action, with global collaboration at its core.”

Health systems in the UK have already started work on being greener.

On behalf of the profession, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) joined the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) in writing a letter to world leaders who had gathered in Glasgow earlier last week to attend the COP26 summit, expressing pharmacy’s commitment to tacking the climate crisis.

RPS also signed a charter to guide effective and high-quality climate action by professional bodies in the UK.

The current drive in the UK is running alongside 47 countries – including the US and Germany – who are pledging commitments to develop climate resilient, sustainable low-carbon health systems.

Health systems account for around 4.6 per cent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Countries joining the UK COP26 Presidency’s Health Programme will ensure their health systems remain resilient to environmental shifts to continue to deliver care for patients.

The UK government has announced investment of over £280 million in decarbonising the NHS estate in England through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

Besides, a further £1.425 billion funding for the whole public sector has been announced this Spending Review period.

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