Global health care has a significant impact on the environment, but there are ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without increasing production costs, international health agency Unitaid said.
This organization, which works to ensure equitable access to medical innovations, examined the production chain of ten essential health products, such as malaria and HIV medicines.
This study released on Tuesday shows that it is possible to reduce emissions by 70% by 2030, with more than half of that reduction without increasing production costs.
These conclusions were released ahead of the COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December, which will include, for the first time, a day focused on climate and health.
For each of the ten health products examined, the unit analyzed climate impacts, including raw material procurement, waste, carbon emissions and plastic pollution.
The report reveals that these 10 supply chains emit more than 3.5 million tons of carbon annually.
The report notes that emissions can be reduced through, among other things, recycling solvents and switching to renewable energy.
“We have identified twenty key technical solutions that can reduce emissions by 70 percent, 40 percent of which can be implemented without increasing the cost of production,” Vincent Brittain, president of UnitAid, said, quoted by Agence France-Presse.
However, going ahead and processing the remaining 30% would “increase product costs,” the study authors say in the report.
The United Nations insists that “astonishing measures” must be taken immediately to prevent further global warming, as the planet is headed towards a global temperature rise of 2.9 degrees Celsius.
To prevent a 3°C rise in temperatures by the end of the century, all countries must cut emissions beyond current promises, and cut 42% of emissions by 2030 if they want to stay below 1.5°C, the target assumed in 2015. In the Paris Agreement on Reducing emissions, a UN report indicates.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) will be held between November 30 and December 12 in Dubai, with the aim of conducting the first global assessment of the Paris Agreement.
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