BMA welcomes NHS commitment to net zero by 2040

Media release from the BMA

Location: England
Last reviewed: 1 October 2020

Responding to the announcement today from NHS England that the NHS aims to become the world’s first 'net zero' national health service, and achieve net zero by 2040, Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, chair of the board of science at the BMA, said:

“The climate emergency is undoubtedly a health emergency, with the poorest in our society already feeling the effects most profoundly.  As climate change potentially impacts upon food production and the spread of disease, health impacts – and the strain these impose on all health services - are likely to worsen without quick and decisive action.  It’s therefore right that the NHS leadership has set a clearer direction towards net zero, building upon the strong progress we’ve seen to date.

“While today marks progress and ambition at the system-wide level, there is still wide disparity between individual trusts, with some still lacking a sustainable development management plan or unable to provide good-quality data on their yearly carbon emissions. It’s vital that the funding and incentives are put in place to drive up standards across the board, including by ensuring the interventions mapped out in the report are properly implemented and their effectiveness accurately measured.  It’s also vital that best practice is assessed, supported and communicated across trusts and health boards.”

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors and medical students in the UK.

A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.