Health Care’s Climate Leadership: Hospitals Take Charge

Eric Lerner
May 4, 2015
Health Care Without Harm
 
Across the United States, a growing number of health systems are taking action to address climate change by limiting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy use, and investing in renewables.
 
Two recent success stories highlight this trend. In November, Gundersen Health became the first energy independent health system in the nation. Last month, Kaiser Permanente announced it will buy enough renewable power to provide half the electricity used by its hospitals, clinics, and offices in California.
 
There is a lot to feel good about when it comes to the health sector’s climate leadership. But at the same time we have to ask ourselves, are we moving fast enough? According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate change is harming people around the globe now. New research shows that doctors are treating patients now who are experiencing health problems associated with climate change.