Renewable energy use in Australian public hospitals

Hayden Burch, Matthew H Anstey and Forbes McGain
Med J Aust 2021; 215 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51197
Published online: 16 August 2021

Australian public hospitals’ energy choices are at odds with “first, do no harm”

The health care sector faces many of the consequences of climate change but is lagging behind in tackling its own contribution to this health threat.1 Increases in extreme weather are contributing to adverse physical, mental and intergenerational health outcomes in Australia and beyond.2,3 Despite these health implications, health care itself pollutes, being responsible for 7% of Australia’s total carbon footprint.4 Coal‐generated electricity and natural/fossil gas are considerable sources of health care’s carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions4 and also contribute to local air particulate matter, with cardiorespiratory consequences.3

  • 1 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, WA
  • 3 Western Health, Melbourne, VIC



We thank energy analysts within Queensland, Victoria and SA Health Departments, the WA Department of Water and Energy and the Clean Energy Regulator for their assistance.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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