SOURCE: Health Care Without Harm

Health Care Without Harm

September 28, 2015 09:00 ET

Health Care Commitment to Tackle Climate Change Launched at Clinton Global Initiative

Health Care Without Harm and Skoll Foundation Announce New Effort to Reduce Health Care's Carbon Footprint

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - September 28, 2015) - The international non-profit group Health Care Without Harm, sponsored by the Skoll Foundation, today unveiled a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to reduce health care's carbon footprint in order to protect public health from climate change.

Health care currently represents 8 percent of U.S. and 5 percent of European greenhouse gas emissions. The CGI commitment sets an ambitious target to mobilize 10,000 hospitals and health centers on every continent in a collective effort to reduce the health sector's greenhouse gas emissions by 26 million metric tons annually by 2020. This is equivalent to taking 5.5 million cars off the road or installing 7,000 new wind turbines every year.

"Climate change is an issue that affects the health of our planet and everyone on it," said Sally Osberg, CEO of the Skoll Foundation. "We are making this commitment at CGI for two reasons: to achieve sustainable global change at a systems level, while helping broaden discussion and action on climate. Health care is at the core of every human's well-being. By extension, health professionals are integral to our future, and can help lead the response to one of the most urgent global threats of our time."

The CGI commitment builds on Health Care Without Harm's 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge by setting ambitious targets. Participants in the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge already include more than 30 major health systems representing 1,200 hospitals and health centers from around the world. Among them are Partners Health Care, Dignity Health, and Kaiser Permanente in the United States, England's National Health Service, as well as both public and private systems from countries as diverse as South Africa, South Korea, Germany, Sweden, and Brazil.

Many of the health care systems are committing to reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions often by 30 or 40 percent. Some are moving toward carbon neutrality. Others are advocating for public policies that foster a transition away from fossil fuels and to clean, renewable energy.

"This is just the beginning of a worldwide effort," said Gary Cohen, President of Health Care Without Harm, and a Skoll Social Entrepeneur. "Our commitment at CGI is to scale-up this Challenge so that protecting public health from climate change becomes embedded in health care's DNA the world over."

For more on the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge, visit

Health Care Without Harm
Health Care Without Harm works to transform the health care sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it becomes ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice. It collaborates with doctors, nurses, hospitals, healthcare systems, professional associations, NGOs, governments and international organizations to promote the development and implementation of safe and environmentally healthy practices, processes and products in the health care sector.

The Skoll Foundation
The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world's most pressing problems. Social entrepreneurs are society's change agents, creators of innovations that disrupt the status quo and transform our world for the better. By identifying the people and programs already bringing positive change around the world, we empower them to extend their reach, deepen their impact, and fundamentally improve society.

The Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)-an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation-convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made nearly 3,200 commitments, improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Benn Grover
    Health Care Without Harm
    Phone: 888-461-0112