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NHS Emissions

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps the NHS is taking to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions; (105638)

(2) what estimate she has made of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the NHS in each of the last five years.

National health service bodies are legally autonomous and it is for them to take steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions where local circumstances permit. To help in this process the Department has issued guidance for the NHS, set out in “Encode”, on a range of steps to improve energy and carbon efficiency. The NHS is also subject to mandatory energy and carbon targets, set by the Government in April 2001. These require it to achieve efficiency savings of 15 per cent. energy, or 0.15 million tonnes carbon, from a base year of March 2000 to March 2010.

As the NHS does not have Crown immunity, a number of NHS organisations will need to comply with the requirements of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2005 which will contribute further to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

The Department is unable to make an estimate of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the NHS. Such emissions cover water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The Department's estates returns information collection (ERIC) database only collects information from which to calculate energy, carbon dioxide and equivalent carbon emissions.