Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton have today welcomed the publication of the Health Service Executive (HSE) Climate Action Strategy.
This Strategy outlines the ambitions, actions, and goals of the HSE which will enable it to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050, and to deliver environmentally and socially sustainable healthcare. It aligns closely with and builds on national climate commitments as set out in the Programme for Government, the Climate Act and the whole-of-Government Climate Action Plan.
Minister Donnelly said:
“Ireland has adopted a very ambitious and challenging set of commitments, to reduce our emissions by 51% by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, which my colleagues across Government and I are committed to delivering on.
“With the launch of their Climate Action Strategy today, the HSE has identified a wide range of areas in which to reduce the carbon footprint of the health sector and increase our resilience to the impacts of climate change. Its strategic objectives include both national public sector priorities such as tackling its built environment, along with areas where the HSE can take ambitious action and advocate for broader health sector ambition. This will form a welcome support and addition to our national efforts.”
Minister Naughton stated:
“Firstly, this Strategy is a welcome addition to the national response to the climate challenge as set out in the Climate Action Plan 2023. Beyond that, it recognises the opportunity for the HSE to engage with its suppliers and advocate for climate ambition, and this can potentially be a game-changer in tackling broader health sector emissions. I am also pleased that it recognises of the role of active travel and mobility, which links closely with the health and well-being dimensions of my own portfolio.”
The Climate Action Strategy puts in place a framework for the HSE to take action across six priority areas of focus, namely its built and green environment, transport and mobility, procurement, healthcare provision, water and waste management, and adaptation and resilience. It also aligns with national climate policies and the climate obligations of the HSE as a public sector body.
Notes to editor:
The HSE Climate Action Strategy sets an objective for the HSE to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and to deliver environmentally and socially sustainable healthcare. It builds on national climate objectives as set out in the whole-of-Government Climate Action Plans and the legally binding commitments contained in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2021. The Strategy commits to action across the issues of energy use, energy efficiency, transport and mobility emissions, supply chain emissions and sustainability, greener models of healthcare, waste reduction and recycling, water use, the promotion of green spaces and the resilience of the health system to the impacts of climate change.
Revisions in 2021 to Ireland’s Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act commit the State to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and to a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030, compared to 2018 levels.
The Climate Action Plan 2023 is the first such plan prepared under the revisions to the Climate Act and implements carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings for those sectors of Irish society responsible for the majority of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. It also sets out a roadmap for achieving the State’s legally binding 2030 and 2050 targets.