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How the programme will help the health and social care sector respond to the climate emergency.

First published:
11 April 2024
Last updated:

Background and context

In 2019, we declared a climate emergency for Wales. We wanted to trigger more focus and greater action to meet the challenges presented by the climate crisis.

Wales has a legally binding target to deliver net-zero emissions by 2050. We also have an ambition for the public sector in Wales to reach net zero by 2030.

There are two responses to the climate crisis:

  • mitigation: to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases
  • adaptation: the process of adjusting to actual or expected climate and its effects

Much work is underway to help us plan how we can reduce our carbon emissions in the health and social care sector. This includes:

The programme

We established the health and social care climate emergency national programme in Autumn 2021. The aim of the programme is to provide strategic oversight for the health and social care response to the climate emergency.

Within the programme there are 5 national project boards:

  • transport and procurement 
  • buildings, estates and land planning 
  • approach to healthcare
  • social care 
  • adaptation planning

The programme has £2.4 million revenue funding over 3 years to: 

  • support projects across the sector that contribute to reducing emissions
  • help the sector adapt to the impacts of climate change

Emissions reporting and decarbonisation plans

The NHS Wales carbon footprint 2018 to 2019 was estimated to be 1,001,378 tCO2e. This is approximately 2.6% of the total emissions in Wales.

NHS Wales organisations report emissions every year to the net zero reporting guide

Public sector net zero data and recommendations provides the latest carbon emissions estimates.

All NHS organisations have decarbonisation action plans that set out:

Additional information

To find out more about the health and social care climate emergency national programme:

Welsh Government tackling climate change

There is much work happening across Welsh Government to combat the impacts of climate change.

Visit the Climate Action Wales hub to see how you can get involved.