Action on climate change is a necessary and immediate priority for the healthcare sector
Climate change is the biggest global health threat in the 21st century. These are European doctors’ key recommendations to the EU, its member states, and local level policymakers, as healthcare systems must become carbon neutral in the future.
Ensure that the targets of the EU climate law will be met by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through more sustainable energy management, transport, and food choices which also result in improved health.
Update the EU ambient air quality standards to fully align the new WHO guidelines and the latest scientific evidence on the health effects of air pollution by 2030 at the latest.
Strengthen the climate resilience of health systems, preparing for consequences of extreme weather events and rising numbers of migrants, increased need for mental health support and health inequalities.
Introduce regulatory requirements to promote sustainable procurement of pharmaceutical products, food, medical devices, and other hospital equipment, ensuring low-carbon, sustainable supply chains.
Increase awareness on the link between climate change and health risks in all policy areas.
Ensure that current and future healthcare professionals are trained to inform about the health impacts of environmental and climate change and treat patients affected by the consequences of climate change, including changing disease panoramas.
Finally, we call on all European doctors to lead by example on climate issues.