In October, doctors, sustainability managers, pharma companies and more came together at CleanMed Europe 2018 to discuss how best to address the environmental impact of the healthcare sector on a local, regional and global level. The three-day event, which took place in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, this year’s European Green Capital, was organised by Radboud University Medical Center and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe, an international coalition of NGOs, hospitals, local authorities and other actors committed to delivering more sustainable healthcare. Health Europa attended as media partner.
Inspiring presentations focused on everything from sustainable procurement and climate-smart healthcare to pharmaceutical pollution and environmentally friendly building materials. A particular highlight came on day one, when the Dutch Minister for Medical Care and Sport, Bruno Bruins, took to the floor to share how the Netherlands is moving towards more sustainable healthcare and launch the Green Deal 2.0.
We need an “ark of ambition” to tackle climate change
Bruins began his speech by recalling the words of Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, who in July called for, not a physical ark, but an “ark of ambition” in order to make the “fundamental, transformative changes” needed to address climate change.
“I am certain that she is right,” the minister said. “In striving for a more sustainable world, no mountain should be too high for us.”
Inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement, the Dutch Government has set the ambitious target of halving the Netherland’s carbon emissions by 2030 – a goal which carries “extra weight” for Bruins given that “pollution is a major cause of disease, premature birth and early mortality worldwide”.
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