NZNO president Grant Brookes, in support of the Sustainable Healthcare in Aotearoa NZ forum starting tomorrow, says that nurses are strongly behind the call to the newly elected government to assess and monitor DHBs’ steps to reduce their carbon footprint and address climate change.
“We would like to see the necessary first steps happening, including a requirement for all District Health Boards to measure, report and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
“There are many compelling reasons for DHBs’ to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including cost savings, population health and health equity gains, healthcare quality improvement and reducing the health impacts of climate change globally.
“The connection between climate change and health is all-encompassing. It has been one of the top three priorities of the World Health Organisation for several years.
“Action on climate change almost invariably benefits health with lower carbon emissions improving air quality and reducing respiratory disease, energy efficient heating lowering energy bills which helps reduce poverty. Walking and cycling is pollution free and improves fitness, reduces risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes,” Grant Brookes said.
NZNO is a signatory to the NZ Climate and Health Council call for:
1. The Ministry of Health to set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for DHBs in line with commitments under the Paris Agreement.
2. The Ministry of Health to mandate all DHBs to measure, manage, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the ISO 14064 standard.
3. DHBs to report progress towards greenhouse gas emissions reduction to the Ministry of Health annually.
NZNO Senior Policy Analyst Marilyn Head is attending the forum tomorrow at the School of Medicine Small Lecture Theatre, 23 Mein St, Newtown, Wellington.