Moving climate change mitigation and adaptation to the forefront
Walt Vernon, PE, LEED AP, EDAC, FASHE
Principal, Chief Executive Officer
On the road again… I spent the last two days at the annual conference of the International Federation of Healthcare Engineering in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While there, I met with the President of the organization, Luciano Monza, as well as many others. I presented a paper on on-site water treatment (influent and effluent) and energy systems, as exemplified by our post-typhoon work in the Philippines with Project HOPE, and the application of these systems to other facilities through the concept of “Reverse Innovation”. (Side-note, if you’re interested to learn more about this presentation and “Reverse Innovation”, contact us.
The IFHE is an interesting organization, trying to share ideas from across the globe. I found it quite refreshing to be able to think outside the box of US regulations; many designers in various locations (not just in Europe; you should see what they are doing in Central and South America) are doing remarkable work, and we can learn from them, to the ultimate benefit of our regulations and our healthcare system.
What was especially remarkable to me was the high emphasis around the world on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Both are now essential and should NOT be conflated, though there is often an overlap. I have frequently seen that while people in the US are among the largest of the polluters, the people in other parts of the world will suffer more. I saw that clearly at this meeting. It is time for us to take responsibility for our actions and to embrace what much of rest of the world is already doing–moving climate change mitigation and adaptation to the forefront. NOT doing it now only stores up higher costs in the future.
It also reminds me of the recent WHO conference on the link between Climate Change and Public Health, where I also presented as faculty. But, I am landing now, so that will have to wait for another post.