Intended for healthcare professionals


New legislation places duty on NHS to tackle climate change

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 07 July 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o1681
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The Health and Care Act—which came into effect on 1 July 2022—has placed new duties on the NHS in England to consider climate change when making decisions.1

The legislation states that NHS organisations will have to think about and be compliant with the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008—which set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions2—and the Environment Act 2021—which outlined targets for improving the natural environment, including air quality.3

The NHS must also “adapt to any current or predicted impacts of climate change” as identified in the climate change reports …

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