By Matthew Green
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s National Health Service pledged on Thursday to become the world’s first healthcare system to cut carbon emissions to net zero, hoping to achieve that by 2040 with measures from electric ambulances to energy-efficient hospitals.
The sheer scale of the state-run NHS, which employs 1.5 million people and accounts for about 7% of Britain’s economy, means the move could put significant pressure on its thousands of suppliers to decarbonise their operations.
“It is not enough for the NHS to treat the problems caused by air pollution and climate change – from asthma to heart attacks and strokes – we need to play our part in tackling them at source,” NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens said in a statement.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, welcomed the move, saying cutting emissions was vital to health everywhere. “Health is leading the way