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Welsh Government announces £2.4m carbon reduction package for NHS organisations

Trusts can bid for funding to accelerate green journey

NHS Wales is the biggest public-sector emitter of CO2 in the country
NHS Wales is the biggest public-sector emitter of CO2 in the country

The Welsh Government is making £2.4m available to drive the carbon reduction agenda within the health and care sector.

The package from the Health and Social Care Climate Emergency National Programme will fund projects put forward by health boards and NHS organisations as part of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by a third by 2030.

The announcement comes just months after the Government published its NHS Wales Decarbonisation Strategic Delivery Plan, which included 46 initiatives to help NHS Wales meet its target.

And it will help Wales meet its total legislative target of net zero carbon by 2050.Annually, it is estimated that NHS Wales produces around one million tonnes of carbon – the largest public sector emitter in the country.

The Government aims to help drive a reduction in emissions through a number of interventions, including electrifying fleet vehicles, using low-carbon lighting in all NHS buildings, reducing the use of harmful gases, and designing the future health and care social system to be as low carbon as possible.

This funding should increase health workers’ capacity for action and hopefully accelerate our transition to more-environmentally-sustainable and resilient healthcare

NHS Wales chief executive, Judith Paget, said: “As the largest public sector emitter of CO2, the NHS in Wales needs to play its part to protect the health and wellbeing of future generations.“We can all help with this effort by returning unused medication to their pharmacy, asking for a more-sustainable inhaler, or using active or public transport to attend appointments.“We are also encouraging applications from NHS organisations for up to £60,000 in the first year for small to medium-sized initiatives to reduce carbon emissions or help the sector adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

Dr Thomas Downs, a junior doctor and founder of the Ysbyty Gwynedd Green Group and part of the Green Health Wales team, added: “To date a lot of the work to make our healthcare more sustainable and climate smart in Wales has been voluntary, with hospital green groups and specialty green networks being developed across Wales, as part of our Green Health Wales network.

“This funding from the Welsh Government will be well received as it should increase health workers’ capacity for action and hopefully accelerate our transition to more-environmentally-sustainable and resilient healthcare.”

Eligible projects for the funding must deliver towards the ambition for the Welsh public sector to be collectively net zero and/or increase resilience to the impacts of climate change, by:

  • Supporting communication, engagement, or behavioural change activity that helps embed the climate change agenda within the organisation, and/or
  • Driving the implementation of organisation-level decarbonisation plans, including through funding specific initiatives or posts
  • Providing funding for small to medium-sized grass-roots initiatives or innovation activity
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