Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting in Health (BCEPS)

New BCEPS publication in Nature Medicine

BCEPS PhD Candidate and Harvard Takemi Fellow Anand Bhopal has just published the article "Fair Pathways to Net-Zero Healthcare" together with BCEPS Director and Professor Ole Frithjof Norheim.

Cycling with a mask
A student goes to school wearing a mask to protect him from the smoke that blankets the city of Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan.
Aulia Erlangga/CIFOR. Collection:Flickr

Main content

Fair Pathways to Net-zero Healthcare 

The health sector is not only at risk from climate change but is also itself a major polluter, responsible for 5.2% of global emissions. The emissions, however, are unevenly distributed. In Nature Medicine, BCEPS' Anand Bhopal and Ole Frithjof Norheim outline the principles of identifying fair pathways to achieve net zero healthcare, while addressing existing health and socioeconomic inequalities within and between countries.

The article is about climate change and health, and explains what it means that 59 countries have committed to the WHO-led Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH) programme, including sustainable low-carbon health systems. 

The authors argue that the idea of fairness is shared in principle but not in practice. Healthcare footprints are highest in rich countries, while climate impacts are worst in the poorest countries. The resource-intensive healthcare seen in rich countries is totally unsustainable on a global scale. Yet, cross-country comparisons are only part of the story. Global emissions are also driven by inequalities within countries, showing that high emissions within regions are driven by the top 10% of emitters.

To assist policy makers, the authors apply a priority-setting framework to explore how to achieve net-zero healthcare in an efficient and fair manner.

Read the Full Paper                  

Nature Medicine Screenshot
Nature Medicine Article Screenshot

Read the BCEPS Policy Brief

BCEPS Policy Brief Screenshot
BCEPS Policy Brief Screenshot