Climate change is one of the largest threats to human health of the 21st century and it poses increasingly visible and intensifying challenges for healthcare providers around the world. Moreover, climate change directly and indirectly aggravates pressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues – including key resource availability, workforce burnout, and health disparities – already present on healthcare providers’ agendas.
Physical risks are already evident to healthcare providers: climate-related shocks and stresses are straining care delivery, damaging healthcare facilities, fracturing supply chains, and increasing disease burden. Decarbonization efforts are also gathering pace, leading to both transition risks – such as new sources of liability – and to opportunities like green capital and insurance, energy and cost efficiencies, talent retention, and improved trust and reputation.
Healthcare providers need to understand and act on climate risks now, before unforeseen shocks turn the issue into a burning platform. Feeling the heat: how healthcare providers can meet the climate challenge illustrates how organizations can use standardized frameworks and tools — such as the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) — to identify risks and opportunities and assess their impacts. It also discusses strategies for mitigating and adapting to evolving climate risks.