19. januar: Should we sacrifice health for the climate?

Healthcare is a place of healing, but as a major polluter it is also a source of harm. With a warming planet, should policy makers consider trading health for lower emissions?

The recent COP26 climate conference in Glasgow had, for the first time, a dedicated health programme. Norway is one of 14 countries that aim to reach ‘net zero’ healthcare emissions by 2050. While some measures to cut carbon emissions also improve health, there are only so many low-hanging fruits. The pathway to zero emissions is unknown, however, soon clinicians, administrators, and global health policy makers will face increasingly difficult trade-offs. The health system is a major polluter – can that change?

Illustration: Kathrine Kristiansen, sykepleien.no

Studentersamfunnnet and Selskapet til Vitenskapenes Fremme are proud to invite an emerging expert on climate and health in conversation about the future of the health system. Our speakers are leaders in Grønt Helsevesen, a project bringing together key actors from across the Norwegian health system to explore pathways to low-carbon healthcare. The report was launched at Bergen Global in October 2020 and is available to download.

The conversation will outline the origin of the project and share the experience of engaging with different stakeholders behind the scenes. Using Norway as a case, they will discuss the feasibility, responsibility, utility, and ultimate desirability of healthcare decarbonisation. What mechanisms from priority setting in healthcare, could be used to identify and navigate trade-offs on the pathway to `net-zero´ healthcare?

The speakers, Anand Bhopal and Emily McLean (in conversation), are medical doctors and PhD candidates at the Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting at the University of Bergen, and co-leaders of Grønt Helsevesen. Anand is also an affiliate researcher at the Centre for Energy Transformation (CET) at the University of Bergen. His research explores the intersection of priority setting, climate change and healthcare decarbonisation with a focus on low- and middle-income country perspectives, and recently co-authored a paper on climate, health and priority setting in the British Medical Journal. Emily has for many years been involved in Klima=Helse, an Bergen-based organisation exploring how climate change will affect health.

The event takes place at Teglverket at Kvarteret, January 19, 18:00-20:00. The event is free, open for all, and will be in English.

Due to the pandemic, the number of seats will be limited. Please sign up in advance here (free of charge).