HHS Announces Health Climate Resilience, Emissions Cuts at COP28

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TL/DR –

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) has released a Climate Change and Health Equity Strategy Supplement. The supplement outlines over 50 planned actions including research programs, forecasting tools, and technical assistance supports to help public health, healthcare, and human services stakeholders address climate-related risks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The HHS delegation has also announced collaboration between federal health systems on clinical decarbonization, ongoing collaboration with the National Health Service (NHS) of England to create aligned expectations for emissions reporting and target setting from health sector suppliers, and provided an update on their collaboration with England’s NHS to align procurement requirements for suppliers to reflect the significant contribution of the supply chain to the healthcare sector’s overall emissions.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at COP28

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled a Climate Change and Health Equity Strategy Supplement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). The document details the department’s initiatives for climate resilience and emission reduction in the U.S. Health Sector.

HHS Climate Change and Health Equity Strategy Supplement

This strategy supplement includes over 50 planned actions to address climate-related risks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It details research programs, forecasting tools, technical assistance for communities, and healthcare providers.

Collaboration on Clinical Decarbonization

HHS announced collaborative efforts towards clinical decarbonization among federal health systems and elaborated ongoing collaborations with the National Health Service (NHS) of England for emissions reporting and target setting.

HHS & NHS Collaboration

HHS and NHS aim to align procurement requirements for suppliers to address the significant contribution of supply chains to the healthcare sector’s emissions, which accounts for about 8.5% of U.S. emissions.

White House-HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge

HHS joined the COP26 Health Program and committed to developing a climate-resilient and low-carbon health sector. The White House and HHS have introduced a Health Sector Climate Pledge, a voluntary commitment to climate resilience and emissions reduction, aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Climate Challenges & Support

HHS’s Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) provides tools for organizations addressing climate challenges. These tools emphasize the opportunities for investments in resilience, clean energy, and building efficiency created by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Resources and Supports:

In the past year, HHS has launched initiatives to support healthcare sector stakeholders. These include the OCCHE Health Sector Resource Hub, Environmental Justice Index, OCCHE Climate and Health Outlook Portal, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and the categorical waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


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