On November 14, Health Care Without Harm and Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) member, the Mohammed VI University Hospital hosted the Climate and Health Care Conference in parallel to COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco. The event, the first of its kind to be held in the country, brought together health sector leaders from around Morocco, Europe, and beyond to share strategies for the health sector to mitigate its own climate impacts, develop low carbon models of care, and use their voice, both individually and collectively, to advocate for policies to address climate change and public health.
With the focus of COP22 on the actions necessary to achieve the goals set out in the Paris agreement, the conference focused on the role that the health sector can play in this global effort. From carbon mitigation strategies being implemented by CHU Niort (France), to approaches to reduce the carbon footprint of health care procurement from Region Skåne (Sweden) and the Sustainable Development Unit (UK), to regional climate resiliency planning measures undertaken by Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (France), GGHH/2020 Challenge organizations were showcased throughout the day. Health Care Without Harm recognized their achievements and leadership on low carbon health care with 2016 Climate Champion Awards.
The event also provided a forum to feature the innovative work taking place around Morocco by individual hospitals as well as the Ministry of Health to ensure that low carbon development is a key focus for health care in the country. New facilities being built in the cities of Casablanca, Agadir, Tangiers, and Rabat have been designed to be highly energy efficient and with a minimal environmental footprint. Additionally, existing facilities are planning renovations to improve their operations and mitigate their climate impacts.
Mr. Rachid Wahabi from the Ministry of Health of Morocco called on all hospitals in Morocco to look for opportunities to provide high quality care while being environmentally and climate friendly and committed the Ministry to support them in this transition. The route to achieving this goal, he stated, is for the dissemination of experiences, best practices, and success among hospitals as was taking place at the conference.
These words and sentiments form the strategy for the health sector moving forward from COP22. There are and will continue to be incredible innovations and actions taking place around the globe to achieve low carbon health care. Sharing these experiences, collaborating with one another at national, regional, and international levels, and coming together as a powerful, united voice on climate change Is an obligation that the health sector must take on. As a collective, the global health sector can lead the way for the world to follow.
For more about Health Care Without Harm, refer to www.noharm-global.org.
To view other NGO press releases, refer to www.ngopulse.org/press-releases.