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World Environment Day: Advancing the climate change agenda in eye care

Published: 04.06.2021
Mitasha Yu Co-chair of the Climate Action Working Group
Imran Khan Co-chair of the Climate Action Working Group
Sightsavers

World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. To acknowledge this day, we should ‘reimagine, recreate and restore’ our environment.  The day reminds us that although we cannot turn back time, can move forward with actions to reduce our carbon footprint.

Following IAPB’s declaration of a climate emergency and the successful launch of the Call to Action for Environmentally Sustainable Practices in the Eye Health Sector and the Guide for Environmentally Sustainable Practices in the Eye Health Sector on Earth Day on 22nd April, 2021, the Climate Action Working Group (CAWG) is continuing to provide leadership and guidance for greater climate action in sector.

Worldwide healthcare is responsible for 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which is 4.4% of all global net greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).[i]  There are many things we can do through our work to mitigate the negative effect of our work on the environment. It’s not an all or nothing initiative, and we encourage any action. There are 10 key areas of action[ii] that can be taken.

10 key steps

On this World Environment Day, it is a strong reminder for the eye care sector to advance the climate change agenda. We are the generation that can make peace with nature.

Further resources:

 

[i] Arup. (2019) Healthcare’s Climate Footprint. Healthcare without Harm & Arup

[ii] International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (2021), Guide for Environmentally Sustainable Practices in the Eye Health Sector