2020 and the challenges ahead

As we enter this new decade time is running short for human civilization to avoid climate catastrophe. To help avoid this fate, the health sector can and must play an increasingly important role in climate mitigation, resilience, and leadership

The unsatisfactory outcomes of COP25, the UN climate negotiations that took place in Madrid in December, were a clear warning sign that our governments are far from reaching the necessary solutions to the climate crisis, to say the least

The dithering negotiations stood in stark contrast to the horror of climate-fueled crises like the unprecedented fires across Australia and other climate-related disasters across the world.

We are also entering the 2020s with hope. It is a hope embodied by the ambition demanded in waves of global youth-led protests. This year all eyes are on COP26, to be held in Glasgow in November 2020, when all countries will submit their new long-term climate goals


Evie S. | Unsplash

In this critical new decade, Health Care Without Harm’s goal is to align health care, which is responsible for 4.4% of global net emissions, with the ambition of the Paris Agreement, and to mobilize the health sector as an advocate for broader climate action.

We will work with the UN and other international institutions, ministries of health, allies in the climate and health movements, and our global network of hospitals and health facilities to mobilize the health sector for climate action.

We will set off on a trajectory that reduces the health sector’s global carbon footprint by 45% by 2030 and achieves net zero emissions by 2050. 

We will amplify the voices of health professionals across our global network who are calling for climate action and climate justice in their communities and countries. 

We will dig deep into our collective strength in the health sector while looking toward a bright horizon, where every person on the planet enjoys a healthy environment and a safe climate.

Let’s get to work!