LMCs have voted to push the Government to commit to a carbon neutral general practice estate by 2030, through steps such as installing electric car charging points.
The motion, which passed at the UK LMCs conference last month (11 May), said the GP committee would promote ‘addressing climate change and the current ecological crisis’ and urge the UK Government to commit to investing in GP premises, including installing electric car charging points, ‘to make general practice estate carbon neutral by 2030’.
Another part of the motion called for the Government to implement a nationwide medication returns and recycling scheme, while another called for it to support practices to return to reusable medical equipment ‘to reduce the carbon impact of disposal equipment’, both also passing.
Responding to the motion, proposed by Leeds LMC, BMA GP committee executive lead Dr Krishna Kasaraneni said: ‘The pandemic has shown the devastating impact that a global health emergency can have, and why it’s imperative we avoid another. It’s vital that we take bold and decisive action to make the NHS pledge of achieving a net zero carbon footprint, a reality.’
He said that practices have already implemented measures such as installing low-energy lighting and prescribing ‘eco-friendly’ inhalers, but added ‘it’s clear we need a widespread commitment from every corner of the NHS if real change is to happen’.
He added: ‘As this motion recognises, Government cannot push this issue to the bottom of the list, but instead take action and commit to doing everything it can to reach the net-zero commitment as soon as possible. The climate emergency is a health emergency that we have the opportunity to stop and prevent for future generations.’
A GP Committee paper, published last summer, said that the benefits of reducing practices’ carbon footprint may include improved patient health; reduced workload; and saved costs.
Motion in full
- That conference supports the promotion of addressing climate change and the current ecological crisis and:
- approves of active travel to improve health outcomes by increasing exercise PASSED
- recognises the opportunity to improve recycling within the NHS PASSED
- calls on the UK Government to commit to invest in GP infrastructure and premises, including installing charging points for electric cars, to make general practice estate carbon neutral by 2030 PASSED
- calls on the UK government to commit to support and resource GP practices to return to reusable medical equipment to reduce the carbon impact of disposal equipment PASSED
- calls on the UK government to commit to implement a nationwide medication returns and recycling scheme PASSED