2030: Next Steps to Healthcare Climate Leadership


Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The changing climate is already changing disease vectors, fueling mass emigration and social unrest, and disrupting the ability of the healthcare system to respond to health needs of the communities we serve. These changes and their impacts will accelerate.

How is Healthcare combatting this at a national level, at the pace necessitated?

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) partnered with the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to provide opportunity grants to interdisciplinary teams across the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to explore promising ideas at the intersection of climate change and human health. One of these grants supported a scoping paper to review the evidence regarding the key factors that contribute to the carbon footprint of the U.S. healthcare sector and to propose potential strategies to mitigate the impact of the U.S. healthcare system on climate change. What was created is: 2030 Next Steps to Healthcare Climate Leadership 

The three primary authors of this paper included Mazzetti CEO Walt Vernon, Institute for Healthcare Improvement Senior Fellow Don Berwick, and Kaiser Permanente Vice President, Assistant Treasurer Eric Berzon.

This paper is intended to catalyze the “next steps” in healthcare climate leadership, with NAM at the helm. Now is the time for healthcare leaders and members of the health professions – among the most trusted people in society – to bend the arc of climate change towards planetary and human health.

Thank you to the 100+ volunteers from various healthcare systems and with various expertise, to help think through specific recommendations for action. Hear what some of they had to say in the video below…

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