The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is fully committed to the reduction of emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases as the single most important step all organizations must take to slow the pace of climate change. The vast majority of CO2 emissions stems from the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation (see Climate Change Evidence & Causes: Update 2020).

The 2024-2028 NAM Strategic Plan (forthcoming in January) calls for the Academy to address climate change as an urgent, existential threat to human life, health, and well-being as a top priority. The NAM’s internal organizational commitment is to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Accordingly, the Academy is working with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the broader organization of which it is a part, to reduce the organization’s scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and divest from fossil fuel interests.

Externally, the NAM launched the Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector in 2021 with the goal of significantly reducing the 8.5 percent of U.S. carbon emissions currently generated by health care institutions and the health industry’s supply chain organizations. The Action Collaborative has published a list of Key Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by U.S. Hospitals and Health Systems and hosted a series of recorded Carbon Accounting 101 Clinics for health care delivery organizations. In 2024, public and private leaders of the Action Collaborative are embarking on an ambitious national effort to mobilize the entire health sector to reduce emissions.

Together with the National Academies, the NAM is participating in the new Climate Crossroads initiative, which will take a powerful multidisciplinary approach to addressing the climate crisis. Extensive resources on decarbonization and other climate change issues are available from the National Academies, including:


Victor J. Dzau, MD, President, National Academy of Medicine

NAM Council

Elena Fuentes-Afflick, MD, MPH (Home Secretary)
Carlos del Rio, MD (International Secretary)
Claire Brindis, DrPH (Vice Chair)
Jeffrey R. Balser, MD, PhD
Susan Curry, PhD
Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc
José J. Escarce, MD, PhD
Eva L. Feldman, MD, PhD
Eve J. Higginbotham, MD
Mae C. Jemison, MD
Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD
Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH
Kelsey C. Martin, MD, PhD
Linda A. McCauley, PhD
Juanita L. Merchant, MD, PhD
Christine E. Seidman, MD
Huda Y. Zoghbi, MD

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