Hospitals Worldwide Call for Action on Climate Change at High-Level Meeting in Bonn

9th November 2017

Bonn, Germany


Today in Bonn, as the COP23 climate negotiations continue, staff from approximately 20 hospitals and health systems have come together at a roundtable meeting to discuss healthcare’s response to climate change and sign Health Care Without Harm’s Call to Action on Climate Change.

The two-day high-level roundtable meeting is being convened by the European Healthcare Climate Council - a newly formed coalition of European hospitals and health systems that are committed to strengthening the healthcare sector’s response to climate change.

The meeting will serve as a platform to discuss the challenges and ambitions of hospitals and health systems in their efforts to build low-carbon and resilient healthcare. These discussions will contribute to the development of a common vision of Climate-Smart Health Care ­– a term coined by the World Bank Group in a recent report which sets forth both low-carbon and resilience strategies designed for the development community, ministries of health, hospitals, and health systems to deploy while addressing the health impacts of climate change.

“This meeting of healthcare leaders and their commitment to Health Care Without Harm’s Call to Action is a recognition that healthcare’s first mission must be to first, do no harm to both the health of the communities it serves and the environment. Health professionals, hospitals, and health systems have a moral obligation to protect public health from climate change.”

Anja Leetz, Executive Director, HCWH Europe

The Call to Action has already been signed by over 100 institutions from 29 countries, representing the interests of nearly 10,000 hospitals and health centres around the world - it is a powerful message from the healthcare sector about the need for action and leadership from all parts of the wider system.

This message from hospitals and health systems to colleagues and sister institutions around the world calls on healthcare to address its own climate impacts, and to prepare for expected serious climate-change induced extreme weather impacts.

Signatories to the call acknowledge that:

“As health care providers, we recognise that many of our institutions have a major carbon footprint … All of us must do our part to address climate change by implementing renewable energy, clean transportation, green building and sustainable procurement strategies.” 

In the U.S. alone, healthcare is responsible for an estimated 8% of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Thanks to intelligent solutions, we at the LVR-Klinik Bonn reduced CO2 emissions by more than 40% compared to 1998, thereby making an important contribution to the implementation of national climate targets. In doing so, we assume social responsibility and combine modern treatment methods with sustainable environmental protection. We are proud of that and want to be a role model for other clinics, which is one of the reasons we are delighted to host this meeting and endorse the Health Care Call to Action on Climate Change.” 

Ludger Greulich, CEO, LVR-Klinik Bonn

In the wake of several extreme weather events around the world that have disabled and devastated hospitals and health centres, the Call to Action also recognises that - as a front line first responder - healthcare “must build resilience into our systems and facilities so as to best prepare for … serious climate change-induced extreme weather impacts.”

The first day of the meeting is being held at LVR-Klinik Bonn - an excellent setting for the event: the clinic was awarded the BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) "Energy-saving hospital" label for the third time in a row in 2016, and has been certified according to EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) since 2013. 

Press contact:

Aidan Long, Press and Communications Manager – HCWH Europe


Phone: +32 465 10 09 40


About Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe

HCWH Europe is a non-profit European coalition of hospitals, healthcare systems, healthcare professionals, local authorities, research/academic institutions and environmental and health organisations. It currently has 84 members in 26 countries from the WHO European region, including 17 EU member states.

HCWH Europe works to transform the healthcare sector worldwide so that it becomes more ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice across the globe. We bring the voice of healthcare professionals to the European policy debate about key issues such as chemicals, climate change and health, green building, sustainable procurement, pharmaceuticals, sustainable food and waste management.

About the European Healthcare Climate Council

Established by HCWH Europe in 2016, the European Healthcare Climate Council (EHCC) is a coalition of hospitals and health systems that are committed to strengthening the health sector’s response to climate change.

The EHCC is built on the recognition that climate change is the biggest public health threat of the 21st century. Members of the EHCC are dedicated to act as leaders for low carbon, healthy, and resilient health systems. The EHCC provides a platform for members to exchange ideas, progress, and best practices, collaborate in joint projects, and ultimately to inspire hospitals across Europe and globally to take action and protect their communities from the adverse impacts of climate change. 

There are currently 6 members of the EHCC:

 - APHP (Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris), France
 - Centre Hospitalier de Niort, France
 - Klinikum Neukölln, Germany
 - Istituto Pio XII-Onlus, Italy
 - Region Skåne, Sweden
 - Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, U.K.