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Memorandum of Understanding Signed to Advance Climate Change Mitigation in Catalan Health System

The initial phase of collaboration between the ICS, ISGlobal and ESCI-UPF will focus on assessing the carbon footprint of the Catalan Health System

Memorando de Entendimiento entre ISGlobal, el ICS y ESCI-UPF

In a significant step towards bolstering efforts to mitigate climate change impacts on public health, the Catalan Institute of Health, along with the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the ”la Caixa” Foundation, and the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change from ESCI-UPF, have joined forces under the auspices of the CATALYSE project . This collaboration marks a four-year commitment aimed at fortifying the Catalan Health System's resilience against the effects of climate change.

CATALYSE, a flagship initiative of an international consortium, is dedicated to bridging the gap between knowledge and action to accelerate climate change response and safeguard public health across Europe. This five-year project, spearheaded by ISGlobal and funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme, has three main lines of action: provide evidence on the effects of climate change on health and how to reduce negative impacts; produce new knowledge to accelerate climate change action in Europe; and help health systems adapt to climate change and reduce their carbon footprints.

In Catalonia, the UNESCO Chair will serve as the focal point for project activities, working in tandem with the Catalan Institute of Health to develop and implement strategies tailored to the region's specific needs. At the heart of this partnership lies the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signaling a shared commitment to devising contemporary guidelines for climate change mitigation within the Catalan health sector.

The initial phase of collaboration will focus on assessing the carbon footprint of the Catalan Health System, pinpointing areas of significant greenhouse gas emissions. These insights will inform the design of targeted mitigation policies aligned with stakeholder priorities. Given the unique challenges inherent to reducing carbon footprints in the healthcare sector, the project will also produce a tailored educational program for healthcare professionals aimed at fostering climate change awareness and adaptation within the sector.

This assessment will benefit from the experience and the methodology of a previous assessment on ISGlobal’s own carbon footprint conducted by both the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and ESCI-UPF.

Through the implementation of these measures, the project envisages enhancing the Catalan Health System's resilience to future climate change occurrences while simultaneously alleviating its environmental footprint.