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93:oral Priority setting and net zero healthcare: how much health can a tonne of carbon buy?
  1. Anand Bhopal,
  2. Ole F Norheim
  1. Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting (BCEPS), Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, Norway


A global movement is currently underway, spearheaded by the National Health Service (NHS) in England, to decarbonise healthcare. In this paper we explore some of the trade-offs involved by framing the path to ‘net-zero’ emissions within the language and practice of priority setting, a discipline centred on the efficient allocation of scarce financial resources to improve health. First, we consider the potential to reduce healthcare’s carbon footprint through clinical decision making (‘On the margin’), national resource allocation (‘The Priority View’) and an international perspective (‘A Global Outlook’). We then locate the broader ‘net-zero’ healthcare agenda within the Paris Agreement and highlight the need for scholars in priority setting to more fully consider the implications of carbon emissions for the fair distribution of healthcare. Our aim is to help healthcare workers, health system leaders and policy makers to identify optimal pathways to protect and improve health on the low-carbon transition.

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