Ecological Modernisation and Carbon Emission in African Cities: Innovative Strategies for Decarbonising the Health Care Sector

Adebola Adeyemi, Smith Azubuike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Global healthcare facilities contribute about 5% of GHG emission. Although Africa’s health facilities’ per capita carbon footprint is low, the general environmental impact can be quite large. Africa’s health sector emits carbon through transportation due to influx into hospitals in the cities for quality healthcare, the use of fossil source to generate power, poor medical waste management, the use of anaesthetic gases and other carbon-emitting sources in the supply chain. We draw from data obtained from Cedarcrest Hospitals, Abuja, Nigeria that highlights this information. Hospitals in Africa may not change the current trend due to energy poverty, a weak transport and medical waste management system and a weak policy framework. Reversing this trend begins with goal-setting and establishing innovative approaches and partnerships to drive success in decarbonising the health sector. We frame the research on ecological modernisation theory and build on this by discussing the relevant literature, highlighting the importance of reducing carbon emissions from the healthcare sector. We note that innovative approaches and partnerships, such as the Top-Runner Approach, can reduce carbon emission from healthcare facilities and be mainstreamed into the healthcare sector and this can be adopted by other rural healthcare facilities. We advance that climate-smart strategies will assist the health sector in reducing their carbon footprint and stimulate climate-friendly health products while preparing the sector for future climate challenges
Original languageEnglish
JournalPalgrave Studies in Climate Resilient Societies series
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Jan 2022


  • decarbonisation
  • carbon emission
  • SDG7
  • Health care
  • health care sector

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