General Practitioners’ Sustainability Working Group calls for a roadmap for Irish 

healthcare to achieve net zero carbon emissions, on World Earth Day 2022 (22nd April 2022).

Irish healthcare does not measure carbon emissions, in a sector with a significant carbon footprint.

(embargo 0600 hours Friday April 22nd).


The Sustainability Working Group of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP), has called on the Government to set up a roadmap, or plan, to reduce carbon emissions from Irish healthcare to zero.

On World Earth Day (22nd April), a day to call for action from everyone to help tackle the climate crisis, GPs highlighted the impact of climate change on the health of the Earth’s population and Planet Earth.

Dr Seán Owens, Chair of the Sustainability Working Group of the ICGP said: “While the NHS has already published a roadmap to net zero, Irish healthcare does not yet count its own carbon emissions, much less publish a road map to net zero. As one of the first Colleges to endorse planetary health (2019 AGM), the ICGP has not shirked its duties. 

“ Healthcare has a marked carbon footprint of its own to recognise, and the bulk of our emissions can be found in our prescribing, particularly inhalers. Many of the chronic diseases we diagnose and manage are the result of unhealthy lifestyle behaviours and unhealthy environments. 

He added: “The trusted roles of doctors and nurses in our communities and frequent patient contacts make GPs and practice nurses ideally situated to deliver lifestyle advice that will not only prevent chronic disease but markedly reduce emissions outside of healthcare. Active transport and plant based diets are two good examples of triple wins; patient, planet and economy.”

Dr Owens’ blog “What does the most recent IPCC report mean for Irish general practice?” can be read here.

Details of Earth Day 2022 can be found at


ISSUED BY: Aileen O’Meara, Communications Consultant, Irish College of General Practitioners.

Tel. 01 2542984 / 087 2239830  Email: