45 countries pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their hospitals, health systems 

The governments of 50 countries pledged to develop carbon-resilient and low-carbon health systems at the UN climate change conference Nov. 9. 

Growing evidence shows that climate change is also a health challenge, as the fallout from phenomena like pollutants and extreme weather patterns can create serious health hazards that will require increased medical treatment. 

In response, 50 governments have committed to taking concrete steps to creating health systems that are climate resilient. On top of that pledge, 45 countries committed to transforming their health systems to become more sustainable, with less carbon emissions. Fourteen have set a date to reach net-zero emissions by or before 2050. Some of the countries are among the most vulnerable to health hazards caused by climate change, like Fiji, Bangladesh and the Maldives. 

"The future of health must be built on health systems that are resilient to the impacts of epidemics, pandemics and other emergencies, but also to the impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events and the increasing burden of various diseases related to air pollution and our warming planet," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, director-general of the WHO. "Health systems must also be part of the solution, by reducing carbon emissions."

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