Building a Climate-Smart Healthcare System for California
The chart above demonstrates the total contribution the healthcare sector could make in the race to meet California’s goals. To help sector leaders and policymakers with their efforts to combat climate change, this report examines why the healthcare sector must act, what the extent of the sectors emissions are, and how investing in climate-smart strategies can provide health and often financial benefits. The report showcases some of the major steps that California hospitals have already taken to redesign their facilities and implement practices to address climate change. It then concludes with a list of recommendations for concerted private and public-sector action.
In order for hospitals to make the dramatic changes needed to build a climate-smart healthcare system, state policies and regulations must support climate-smart healthcare strategies. Even in California, a national leader in environmental policy, there are policies and regulations that limit the healthcare sector’s ability to act. Policymakers and regulatory bodies need to understand how healthcare’s needs and regulations uniquely impact their ability to implement climatesmart interventions, and healthcare executives need to advocate for the integration of healthcare into climate and energy policy and climate considerations into health policy. With the right the healthcare sector can become a considerable positive force to help the state meet and exceed its climate goals, direct billions of dollars into the low carbon economy, and serve as a model to be replicated in other states and subnational entities around the world.
To help sector leaders and policymakers with their efforts to combat climate change, the analysis in this report makes the case to invest in climatesmart health systems and details ways to achieve that goal.