Estimated greenhouse gas emissions
The Norwegian Directorate of Health's report on greenhouse gas emissions included a rough estimate of total emissions in the specialist health service and primary health and care services. The estimate was calculated based on a standardised framework for quantifying and reporting emissions, known as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) (5). According to this protocol, emissions are divided into three categories (referred to as 'scopes'): direct emissions that the organisation has control over (scope 1), indirect emissions related to energy use (scope 2), and other indirect emissions, such as those from the procurement of goods and services, business travel and waste management (scope 3).
The specialist health service in Norway has total emissions of 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents
There is already a good national overview of direct emissions and emissions related to energy use (scopes 1 and 2) in the specialist health service (6). However, for the indirect emissions from, for example, the procurement of goods and services (scope 3), no national figures are available yet, but previous estimates within the organisations have shown that these constitute the majority of emissions (64–91 %) (3). A simple calculation demonstrated that the specialist health service in Norway has total emissions of 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents. In comparison, Norway reported total national emissions of 48.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents under the Paris Agreement in 2022 (7).
There is no national dataset for the primary health and care sector, and the availability of data is limited. Through online searches, we identified 22 municipalities with a total of 1.4 million inhabitants that had available data for emissions in health and care services, estimated using the Klimakost calculation method (8) for the period 2015–22. By using data on the number of inhabitants or economic consumption in the municipalities, we have estimated that the primary health and care service also has total emissions of around 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents.
The estimates in the report are uncertain and are impacted by the assumptions used in the calculations. Nevertheless, the figures demonstrate that the health and care sector accounts for considerable emissions. The report also mentions the central health administration, which has lower emissions than the specialist health service and the primary health and care services but can play an important part as a role model for other actors.