Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting in Health (BCEPS)
Comment | Carbon Emissions in Health Services

A climate-neutral health service: time for action!

BCEPS PhD candidates Anand Bhopal, Emily McLean and Sara Eriksen highlight why the Norwegian health system needs to urgently reduce its carbon emissions.

Tidsskriftet article illustration
Illustration /
Symra Joner-Andbo

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This debate article led by BCEPS PhD Candidate Anand Bhopal reflects on the recent commitment of the National Health Service (NHS) in England to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040 and argues that it is time the Norwegian health service took stronger action.

The authors point to the wealth of effective interventions to reduce carbon emissions from health care and highlight the efforts of Sunnaas Hospital in Norway, which has halved its emissions footprint. As explained by Emily McLean, carbon emissions from the Norwegian health service continue to increase. However, the NHS shows us that it is possible to do two things at once: deliver high-quality health care and work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The article concludes by calling on leaders of the Norwegian Healthcare System, including Bent Høie (Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services), Bjørn Guldvog (Director General of Health), Camilla Stoltenberg (Director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health), and the other regional health leaders to make a targeted plan of action for a carbon-neutral Norwegian health service.

The full article (published online 15 December 2020) is available open access from the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association (Tidsskriftet for den Norske Legeforening) in both English and Norwegian:

By Anand Bhopal, Emily McLean, Ola Løkken Nordrum and Sara Soraya Eriksen