Modern healthcare is a major contributor to Climate Change. Health and care providers are major producers of greenhouse gases. Many of the ways we deliver health and care create harmful waste and bi-products, which increase the burden on disease and health care.
Conversely, measures to tackle Climate Change, such reducing petrol vehicle use or increasing people’s physical activity, can have positive health effects, both at an individual and a societal level.
The RCN is committed to supporting members and the wider nursing community to deliver care in a way that is environmentally sustainable, improves health outcomes, and helps to reduce costs.
We believe that nurses have a key role to play in addressing these challenges, and in supporting the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable care.
As the largest part of the health and care workforce, nurses are at the forefront of providing care to communities and people affected by Climate Change. As a profession grounded in science, and one trusted by the public, nurses also well placed to talk to those they care for about the relationships between Climate Change and health.