The role of the health care sector in climate change mitigation

Update July 03, 2023

The health care sector contributes roughly 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with G20 countries accounting for over 75 percent. Urgent decarbonization is critical, and while the trajectory and approach may differ among G20 nations, all countries must work towards achieving net-zero health care emissions by 2050. 

In light of this critical issue, the article "Decarbonising the Healthcare Sector: A Roadmap for G20 Countries", published by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), provides insights into the imperative of transforming health care systems to mitigate their environmental impact.

The article, authored by Poornima Prabhakaran, Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Chronic Disease Control, India; Fiona Armstrong, Founder and Strategic Projects Director of the Climate and Health Alliance, Australia; and, Josh Karliner, Health Care Without Harm's Director of Global Partnerships, sheds light on the challenges, opportunities, and strategies for decarbonizing the health care sector. It emphasizes the pressing need for action to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable practices within the health care industry.

"Decarbonising the Healthcare Sector: A Roadmap for G20 Countries" highlights innovative initiatives and case studies worldwide demonstrating successful efforts in reducing carbon emissions and embracing sustainable practices. It also underlines the role of policymakers, health care leaders, and stakeholders in driving the decarbonization agenda and creating a resilient and sustainable health care system.

“Health Care Without Harm is working to support G20 countries as they address their health sector’s contribution to the climate crisis and the impact of that crisis on their health systems” said Josh Karliner, Director of Global Partnerships for Health Care Without Harm. “This article builds on the work we did to support the Asian Development Bank in developing a set of High Level Principles for Health Care Climate Action that the G20 Health Working Group is currently considering under India’s G20 Presidency.”   

To read the full article, visit:

To lear more about the Global road map for health care decarbonization developed by Health Care Without Harm and Arup, visit: