While still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, health professionals and hospitals are joining forces to respond to another global health emergency: climate change. An international coalition of more than 1,500 healthcare organizations has the goal of addressing their collective environmental impact and exploring new ways to protect public health by improving sustainability in healthcare.

Around the world, we’re witnessing the devastating effects that climate change has on people and the environment. The main driver of the crisis – burning fossil fuels – is the primary cause of outdoor air pollution which kills more than four million people every year. Drought, heat waves, wildfires, more intense and severe storms, rising sea levels, and migrating disease vectors are all making climate change the greatest health threat of the 21st century.

Doctors, nurses, and other care providers are increasingly witnessing the climate crisis as a health crisis that directly impacts their patients. They’re also discovering that their hospitals actually contribute to the problem. Now, they’re stepping up to protect people and the planet by advocating for a transition to clean and renewable energy, and by minimizing their carbon footprint as much as possible. . .

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