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Green Nephrology

Author: Karim Moutchou

Medical Student, Fez Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy

Editor: Yuki Senoo

The advance of new medical techniques made hospitals more energy dependent than ever. An extent of hospitals’ contribution to climate change and pollution is hard to estimate as it varies widely from one country to another. However, we know now that in Brazil hospitals consume 10% of the total energy produced by the country. In the United States of America, healthcare buildings are the second most energy-intensive commercial sector buildings. Furthermore, NHS (National Health Service in the United Kingdom) estimated the percentage of CO2 emissions from hospitals at 25% among all sectors combined.

This numbers put the “do no harm” part of the Hippocratic Oath in a danger zone as we see hospitals participating in causing to climate change and CO2 emissions.

This sad fact about hospitals is discussed rarely in medical schools or between doctors in their private talks and international gatherings. The sense of a need to solve problem is not recognized so strong yet even though the World Health Organization has commented that “The health sector is one of the most trusted and respected sections of society and it is also one of the largest employers and consumers of energy. This presents both a responsibility and an opportunity to be an ‘early mover’ to achieve climate-neutrality in its own operations, and to demonstrate that this can go hand-in-hand with improved effectiveness and cost savings.”