The US healthcare system is the greatest polluter of any industrialized healthcare system in the world, responsible for 8.5% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Between 2010 and 2018, the US sector’s emissions rose 6% – a correlation associated with increasing demand and investment.
If it does not rapidly transform itself, aligning growth and development with an ambitious decarbonization pathway, it could triple its climate footprint between now and 2050.
It must do this in spite of the stresses that COVID has put upon it, in the knowledge that the climate crisis is a health emergency in itself that will dwarf the impacts of the pandemic.
For one of the largest health systems in the US, Providence, inaction is not an option. Rooted in its commitment to “strive to care wisely for our people, our resources and our earth,” the Catholic health system says it “bears significant responsibility to mitigate the impact of its operations.”