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.
This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ .
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.