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The construction industry plays a vital role in the national economy. As of 2019, the total annualized value of construction work in the U.S. was approximately $1.3 trillion, making construction one of the nation’s largest industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 5,962,640 employed construction workers in 2018 (not including self-employed), representing 4.1 percent of total employment in U.S. firms.

Like most other sectors of the economy, construction spending retracts during economic downturns. In particular, the construction industry suffered a major blow during the Great Recession. Employment for construction workers (including the self-employed) dipped from a peak of 9,785,000 in July 2007 to 6,734,000 in April 2012. As of August 2019, the total number of employed and self-employed construction workers was about 8,415,000. An estimated 23 percent of all construction workers are self-employed.

Due to the boom or bust nature of construction, the unemployment rate for construction workers tends to be higher than the overall unemployment rate. In 2018, the construction was 5.1 percent, compared to the overall unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. In 2010, the unemployment rate gap was even larger: 20.6 percent for construction workers and 10.5 percent overall.

Even though employment in the construction industry is still below pre-recession levels, it has grown rapidly in recent years. Between 2015 to 2018, employment in construction occupations grew by 8 percent, higher than the 5 percent average employment growth across all occupations. Furthermore, the BLS predicts that employment growth for construction workers will outpace the national average growth rate for all occupations between 2016 and 2026. In this time frame, construction jobs are expected to grow 11 percent compared to 7.4 percent across all occupations.

Since bottoming out in 2011, construction spending has increased 64 percent. During that time, growth in residential construction outpaced that of nonresidential, a reflection of a stronger real estate market and increased demand for affordable housing. In 2018, 42.2 percent of construction spending was in residential, up from 34.0 percent 10 years earlier. New residential construction spending per construction worker amounts to $45,060 per construction worker per year.

Amid rapid growth, the construction industry provides above average wages but doesn’t require a college degree, making it an attractive option for many workers. Nationwide, the median hourly wage for a construction worker is $22.12, compared to the $18.58 median wage across all occupations. However, certain locations offer better conditions for construction workers than others. At the state level, the highest concentration of construction jobs are in the Southwest and Mountain-Plains regions rather than coastal states. Unemployment rates, hourly wages, construction spending, and cost of living also vary from location to location.

Narrowing down to the city level paints an even more specific picture of how location affects conditions for construction workers. To identify the best metropolitan areas for construction workers, researchers at Construction Coverage analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau to calculate a composite score based on the following metrics:

• Median hourly wage for construction workers
• Employment growth for construction workers
• Construction spending per construction worker
• Cost of living
• Unemployment rate for all workers

Only the 100 most populous metropolitan areas were included in the analysis. Most of the metro areas that scored highest are located in the West, Midwest, or South. None are located in the Northeast. Here are the 10 best cities for construction workers in 2019.

The 10 Best Metros for Construction Workers

10. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $26.34
• Employment growth for construction workers: 29.5%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $53,486
• Cost of living: 1.7% above average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 3.9%
• Concentration of construction workers: 14% above average

9. Colorado Springs, CO
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $20.58
• Employment growth for construction workers: 16.7%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $143,236
• Cost of living: -0.4% below average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 3.9%
• Concentration of construction workers: 10% above average

8. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $18.95
• Employment growth for construction workers: 22.5%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $113,675
• Cost of living: -4.7% below average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 2.5%
• Concentration of construction workers: -19% below average

7. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $19.11
• Employment growth for construction workers: 12.2%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $148,713
• Cost of living: -4.8% below average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 3.6%
• Concentration of construction workers: -48% below average

6. Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $17.68
• Employment growth for construction workers: 50.9%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $87,258
• Cost of living: -3.3% below average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 3.3%
• Concentration of construction workers: 99% above average

5. Boise City, ID
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $18.46
• Employment growth for construction workers: 31.8%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $99,286
• Cost of living: -5.8% below average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 2.6%
• Concentration of construction workers: 39% above average

4. St. Louis, MO-IL
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $29.80
• Employment growth for construction workers: 5.4%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $29,414
• Cost of living: -8.6% below average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 3.6%
• Concentration of construction workers: -4% below average

3. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $36.31
• Employment growth for construction workers: 5.5%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $25,197
• Cost of living: 3.4% above average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 4.0%
• Concentration of construction workers: -27% below average

2. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $30.39
• Employment growth for construction workers: 9.0%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $65,813
• Cost of living: 2.2% above average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 3.0%
• Concentration of construction workers: -21% below average

1. Provo-Orem, UT
• Median hourly wage for construction workers: $21.25
• Employment growth for construction workers: 36.3%
• New residential construction spending per worker: $84,690
• Cost of living: -3.1% below average
• Unemployment rate for all workers: 2.7%
• Concentration of construction workers: 98% above average

Median wage and employment data are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Survey. Employment growth is the percent change in construction worker employment between 2015 and 2018. Unemployment rates (for all workers) are from April 2019.

Construction spending per construction worker is the total valuation of all new privately owned housing units authorized in 2018 divided by the number of construction workers employed in 2018. Construction spending data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Building Permits Survey.

Cost of living is from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Price Parities dataset. For the purpose of this analysis, construction workers include all wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments working in Construction and Extraction Occupations.

Only the 100 most populous metropolitan areas were included in the analysis.

Data for self-employed persons are not included in the estimates.

Lattice Publishing
The Center Square

Thursday, 26 September 2019 22:07

Joe Biden: Impeachment's First Casualty

Even before seeing the transcript of the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Nancy Pelosi threw the door wide open to the impeachment of Donald Trump by the Democratic House.

Though the transcript did not remotely justify the advanced billing of a "quid pro quo," Pelosi set in motion a process that is already producing a sea change in the politics of 2020.

The great Beltway battle for the balance of this year, and perhaps next, will be over whether the Democrats can effect a coup against a president many of them have never recognized as legitimate and have sought to bring down since before he took the oath of office.

Pelosi on Tuesday started this rock rolling down the hill.

She has made impeachment, which did not even come up in the last Democratic debate, the issue of 2020. She has foreclosed bipartisan compromise on gun control, the cost of prescription drugs and infrastructure. She has just put her own and her party's fate and future on the line.

With Pelosi's assent that she is now open to impeachment, she turned what was becoming a cold case into a blazing issue. If the Democrats march up impeachment hill, fail and fall back, or if they vote impeachment only to see the Senate exonerate the president, that will be the climactic moment of Pelosi's career. She is betting the future of the House, and her party's hopes of capturing the presidency, on the belief she and her colleagues can persuade the country to support the indictment of a president for high crimes.

One wonders: Do Democrats blinded by hatred of Trump ever wonder how that 40% of the nation that sees him as the repository of their hopes will react if, rather than beat him at the ballot box, they remove him in this way?

The first casualty of Pelosi's cause is almost certain to be the front-runner for the party nomination. Joe Biden has already, this past week, fallen behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Iowa, New Hampshire and California. The Quinnipiac poll has her taking the lead nationally for the nomination, with Biden dropping into second place for the first time since he announced his candidacy.
By making Ukraine the focus of the impeachment drive in the House, Pelosi has also assured that the questionable conduct of Biden and son Hunter Biden will be front and center for the next four months before Iowa votes.

What did Joe do? By his own admission, indeed his boast, as vice president he ordered then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to either fire the prosecutor who was investigating the company that hired Hunter Biden for $50,000 a month or forgo a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee that Kiev needed to stay current on its debts.

Biden insists the Ukrainian prosecutor was corrupt, that Hunter had done no wrong, that he himself was unaware of his son's business ties.

All these assertions have been contradicted or challenged.

There is another question raised by Biden's ultimatum to Kiev to fire the corrupt prosecutor or forgo the loan guarantee. Why was the U.S. guaranteeing loans to a Kiev regime that had to be threatened by the U.S. with bankruptcy to get it to rid itself of a prosecutor whom all of Europe supposedly knew to be corrupt?

Whatever the truth of the charges, the problem here is that any investigation of potential corruption of Hunter Biden, and of the role of his father, the former vice president, in facilitating it, will be front and center in presidential politics between now and New Hampshire.

This is bad news for the Biden campaign. And the principal beneficiary of Pelosi's decision that put Joe and Hunter Biden at the center of an impeachment inquiry is, again, Warren.
Warren already appears to have emerged victorious in her battle with Bernie Sanders to become the progressives' first choice in 2020. And consider how, as she is rising, her remaining opposition is fast fading.

Sen. Kamala Harris has said she is moving her campaign to Iowa for a do-or-die stand in the first battleground state. Sen. Cory Booker has called on donors to raise $1.7 million in 10 days, or he will have to pack it in. As Biden, Sanders, Harris and Booker fade, and "Mayor Pete" Buttigieg hovers at 5 or 6% in national and state polls, Warren steadily emerges as the probable nominee.

One measure of how deeply Biden is in trouble, whether he is beginning to be seen as too risky, given the allegations against him and his son, will be the new endorsements his candidacy receives after this week of charges and countercharges.

If there is a significant falling off, it could be fatal.

patrick buchanan small
Patrick J. Buchanan

Thursday, 26 September 2019 21:55

THE TRANSCRIPT WE REALLY WANT TO SEE

	
The transcript of President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky is yet another illustration of the rule: Never ask a question you don't know the answer to.
But on the basis of one drama queen's overreaction to a rumor she'd heard about what was said on a phone call she didn't hear (I'm assuming the whistleblower is Christine Blasey Ford), the Democrats have launched impeachment proceedings against the president.

I guess they figured it's easier than flying to South Dakota with picks and chisels and carving Trump into Mount Rushmore. But it will have the same effect.
Now that the transcript has been released, it's The New York Times that doesn't want anyone to see it.
The transcript I'd like to see is the one of Nancy Pelosi reading the Trump transcript.
F@@@@@@CK! Whose f***ing idea was it to demand this goddamn transcript? F@CK! F@@CK! F@@@CK!
The absolute worst version for Trump -- i.e. the one being repeated non-stop on MSNBC -- is that he did exactly what Obama and Biden were doing to Ukraine: intimidating an ally into giving us something in exchange for the foreign aid we were giving them.

Biden himself bragged about getting Ukraine's prosecutor fired by threatening to withhold a big fat check from them.
The Democrats' argument is: No, no, no! When WE were pressuring Ukraine, we were doing it for good! Don't you understand? We're good; they're bad.
The other reason the media are going to have to bury this transcript is that Trump brought up a few items that the media have been hoping the public would never find out about.
Trump said: "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it ... It sounds horrible to me."
Well, that's something the media haven't mentioned before. Ninety-nine percent of Americans will be hearing about the funny business with Biden's son, Hunter, for the first time with the release of this transcript.
Why did Vice President Biden order the Ukrainian president to fire the prosecutor investigating the Ukrainian company paying his son millions of dollars? Are Democrats claiming that this company was clean as a whistle and it was an absolute OUTRAGE that it was being investigated?
Ukraine was looking into the company that conveniently placed Hunter Biden on its board long before Trump came on the scene. Something must have made the Ukrainian prosecutor want to investigate Biden's company -- and it sure wasn't to curry favor with the Obama/Biden administration.
The second issue the media does not want anyone to think about is CrowdStrike.
What is CrowdStrike, you ask? That is the cybersecurity firm that is the sole source of the claim that the Russians hacked the DNC's emails -- which launched the conspiracy theories that tied our country in knots for the past three years.
The Russian collusion story was originally hatched by Hillary Clinton in the summer of 2016 to cover up the utter corruption revealed by the dump of Democratic National Committee emails on Wikileaks. As was her practice whenever a scandal threatened to engulf her, Hillary rushed out and told the press to investigate something else.
And "the great story" about the DNC email hack wasn't about a "vast right-wing conspiracy" -- as she claimed when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. No, this time, it was a vast Russian conspiracy!
At the time, the entire media laughed at Hillary's Russian conspiracy nonsense -- The New York Times, New York Newsday, the Los Angeles Times and so on. But then Trump won the election, and suddenly the Russia conspiracy seemed totally believable. What else could explain how Americans could put this boob in the White House?
The subsequent three years of breathless Russia coverage was based entirely on the word of one cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, that the DNC's emails had been hacked by Russia. Recall that the DNC wouldn't allow the FBI or any other U.S. government official anywhere near its computers. That's precisely why so many cybersecurity experts doubted that it was the Russians: The FBI was never allowed to perform its own investigation.
CrowdStrike was founded by Ukrainian Dmitri Alperovitch (now an American citizen apparently -- because who isn't?) and funded by the fanatically anti-Russian Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk Foundation.
Talk about interfering with our democracy! Alperovitch and Pinchuk sent one political party and nine-tenths of the American media off on a wild goose chase into Russian collusion that, after years of accusations, investigations and embarrassing conspiracy-mongering ... turned up goose eggs.
The entire Russian insanity was launched by a couple of Ukrainians. I think a lot of us would like to get to the bottom of that.
This is why Trump said to President Zelensky: "I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people ... The server, they say Ukraine has it."(How'd you like to be the Ukrainian translator for a Trump conversation?)
Trump has been justly criticized for hiring his daughter and son-in-law at the White House. But at least when he pressures a foreign leader for a favor, it's to investigate corruption, not to get a prosecutor off his son's back. Maybe Biden's son was guilty, maybe he was innocent. But it is a fact that Joe Biden held up foreign aid to a desperately needy ally in exchange for their halting prosecution that implicated his son. It's not Trump's fault that Biden is now running for president.
I'll give the Democrats this: They've gotten so good at trying to remove Trump from office that, instead of three years, their insane accusations blow up in their faces within a week.

Ann Coulter small
Ann Coulter
 
Thursday, 26 September 2019 05:28

Editorial cartoons

Thursday, 26 September 2019 05:25

Time for Democrats to be Worried, Very Worried

After three rounds of debates, the latest a winnowed field of 10 sharing a single stage, one thing seems clear: The Democratic Party needs a heavy hitter to enter this race, or one among the field to grasp reality. It is time to get real.

Without someone impassioned, articulate and believable -- think Oprah Winfrey or Michelle Obama -- the Democratic field has no clear message. The 10 leading candidates cannot clearly articulate why they want the job. As explained by spiritual author and Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson, who did not make the stage Thursday, no one will beat President Donald Trump with wonky insider policy talk.

Love or hate him and what he has to say, Trump had a crystal clear message when he ran in 2016: "Make America Great Again." He will run next year on a promise to "Keep America Great." It is called marketing.

Trump's simple slogans don't promise gifts or anything specific. They mean whatever any listener cares to dream of.

Compare that to the Democratic primary talk. Candidates exchange gibberish about giving away money, health care, education and other services and goods in exchange for support. To sloganize their grand vision, one could only say "Make America Socialist, As Never Before."

Democrats plan to control the climate by phasing out fossil fuels. This appeals to fantasy visions of far-left activists but makes no sense to anyone who understands the pervasive and intractable role of fossil fuels in nearly every aspect of human life.

Construction, manufacturing, transportation, heating, cooling, agriculture, food processing, media, telecommunication and low-emission "sustainable" energy innovation depend heavily on fossil fuels.

We will not imminently replace bulldozers, tractors, cranes, planes, boats, tires, roofs, lightbulbs, phones, TVs, ovens -- pretty much everything that defines the way we live -- with replacements we will somehow manufacture and operate without fossil fuels. It is not possible in anyone's lifetime.

When Americans of average intelligence hear an entire slate of presidential candidates promise the impossible, they roll their eyes and resign themselves to another four years of Trump.

Whether they like him, he does not threaten their ability to turn on lights, drive cars, heat homes and eat. We cannot say the same for 10 leading Democratic candidates, unless and until they explain how they will eliminate fossil fuels without screwing up our lives.

They have various ideas for giving away health care on a massive scale, and no one demands they explain how to pay for it. The even bigger concern is where they will get it. This country faces a severe and growing health care shortage, and the prospect of free health care for everyone including illegal immigrants only makes young adults less interested in future medical careers.

They will give away college educations and forgive student loan debt. Of 10 leading candidates, not one has a message that does not boil down to taking from Peter to pay for Paul's vote.

Small-time millionaire lawyer Andrew Yang has taken pandering to an all-time low, paying a few randomly selected people $1,000 a month for no apparent reason. If elected, everyone who needs $1,000 will get it from government. How to pay for this? No one asks.

The moderators and candidates in all three debates have essentially ignored economic questions and answers, allowing discussions of incomprehensible fantasy.

Democrats need a candidate moored to reality. Americans will vote for Trump, even if they don't like him, if given no better option. They won't vote for any Trump opponent with a message they cannot believe.

small smiley face with sunglasses1

Thursday, 26 September 2019 05:16

Letters to the Editor

 

Since when do we take serious someone whistle blowing who had no direct knowledge of the events?

There is a chain of command that is followed. After the IG reviews the complaint and decided it needs to go forward it is reviewed again by the legal staff to make sure it is valid. It failed this check and was therefore not sent along to Congress.

There is more, but what I find extremely interesting is that no one in the media is talking about how the whistle blower got access about information on a private call between the president and the leader of another country.

The fact that secret information is being distributed to people who do not have the proper security clearances to see that information is much more alarming to me then a BS whistle blower complaint when he/she clearly did not have all of the facts.

And find it even more disturbing that the Democrat run intelligence committee doesn’t find it equally disturbing.

Aurora Root
Naples, FL

Thursday, 26 September 2019 05:14

Letters to the Editor

Ann Coulter’s recent column, “”We don’t trust you”…says it all!

What a great column, except for 1 paragraph, as an OP-ED columnist, I envy her writing skills and eloquence. We, the Conservative Branch of government, need her and people like her.

I wish she would reconcile her differences with the President.

From that 1 paragraph I believe her differences are of a personal nature rather than based on the President’s ability to run the largest corporation in the world…the US of A!

This President is NOT a politically correct , polished politician.

There are two types of people, leaders and followers. Those who follow, like Schumer, Pelosi,…and all other Democraps, care what people think about their decisions…those who lead, don’t. Leaders make decisions based upon their integrity, oaths, experience and ability.

Having turned around everything Barack Hussein did in 8 long years, trying to destroy America… Trump? It only took him a short 2 years, to restore America, what no other person could have accomplished.

I’d rather Trump have my back, any day, than anybody Democrap!

J Gary DiLaura,
The Right Side

Thursday, 26 September 2019 05:09

To the Editor

What a great actress that Gretta is!!! Wonder how many times she practiced that?

Strange though. Instead of going to India or China who produce the vast majority of the world's pollution she chose to come to the United States... Interesting. How about lecturing those countries first LMAO

Anthony Markhamm

Combined, the total debt of the 50 state governments in the U.S. was $1.5 trillion in fiscal year 2018, according to Truth In Accounting’s (TIA) 2019 Financial State of the States report.

It is the tenth in a decade of reports analyzing states’ budgeting, reporting, and fiscal health using the same methodology.

The good news is that due to a prosperous economy, total debt among the 50 states decreased by $62.6 billion in fiscal year 2018, excluding debt related to capital assets.

 

Despite this, the average taxpayer burden across all 50 states to cover the debt was $8,400, and 40 state governments were unable to pay their bills.

Nine state governments accumulated debt to the point where the taxpayer burden exceeds $20,000, according to the analysis.

TIA calculates the taxpayer burden according to the amount of money each taxpayer would have to pay for the state to pay all of its existing debt. A taxpayer surplus is the amount of money left over after all of a state’s bills are paid, divided by the estimated number of taxpayers in the state.

TIA labels states that can’t pay their bills as Sinkhole States and those who can as Sunshine States.

Top Sunshine States, with the lowest taxpayer burden, are Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho.

Sinkhole States are New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Hawaii.

In order to balance the budget, required by law in 49 states, “elected officials have not included the true costs of the government in their budget calculations and have pushed costs onto future taxpayers,” the report states. Unfunded retirement and healthcare obligations represent real expenses that fall on taxpayers, causing the greatest amount of debt, the report adds.

 

TIA implemented a grading system for the states to better explain their actual financial situation. Three states received A’s, seven received B’s, 13 received C’s, 18 received D’s, and nine states received failing grades.

The worst states with the highest taxpayer burden and worst fiscal health all earned F grades. They include New Jersey, with the highest taxpayer burden of $65,100, followed by Illinois with a $52,600 taxpayer burden, Connecticut with $51,800, Massachusetts and Hawaii both carrying a $31,200 taxpayer burden, Delaware with $27,100, Kentucky with $25,700, California with $21,800, and New York with $20,500.

“This crisis has been years in the making and demands political courage on the part of voters and elected officials to return to the path of sustainability,” Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of TIA, said.

One of the ways states appear to balance their budgets is that officials “shortchange” public pension and OPEB funds, resulting in a $824 billion shortfall in pension funds and a $664.6 billion shortfall in OPEB funds, TIA said.

“Many but not all states are in bad shape. States like Utah, Tennessee, Nebraska and, among the larger states, North Carolina – they have good lessons to offer other states,” Bill Bergman, TIA director of research, told The Center Square.

“For the states in bad shape, state legislatures, governors, judges and government employees probably shouldn't rely on federal government assistance, even if things like the government's response to the financial crisis of 2008-2009 or growing calls for federal assistance for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation suggest they should,” Bergman adds. “Our federal government is arguably in worse financial condition than even the worst states (New Jersey, Illinois, and Connecticut), despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that the federal government thinks it can print money.”

Founded in 2002, Truth in Accounting is dedicated to educating and empowering citizens with understandable, reliable, and transparent government financial information. This year's report is the tenth in a decade of TIA \ analyzing states’ budgeting, reporting, and fiscal health using the same methodology.

 

“Providing accurate and timely information to citizens and the media is an essential part of government responsibility and accountability,” TIA states. “The lack of transparency in financial information, state budgets, and financial reports makes it difficult for governments to meet this democratic responsibility.”

 

The Center Square

Thursday, 26 September 2019 04:55

Health Care’s Big Global Climate Footprint

If the global health care sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet, according to a new report by Health Care Without Harm in collaboration with Arup, which provides engineering, design, and project management for the built environment.

Overall, health care emissions are equivalent to the annual greenhouse gases produced by 514 coal-fired power plants, finds the report, titled, “Health Care’s Climate Footprint.”

Establishing the first-ever estimate of health care’s global climate footprint, the report finds the health care footprint to be equivalent to 4.4 percent of global net emissions (two gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent).

Fossil fuel combustion makes up well over half of health care’s global climate footprint.

The report, released simultaneously at events in London and Medellin, Colombia on September 10, makes the case for a transformation of the health care sector that aligns it with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Not only are doctors, nurses and health facilities all first responders to the impacts of climate change, but hospitals and health care systems paradoxically make a major contribution to the climate crisis,” says co-author Josh Karliner, international director of program and strategy for Health Care Without Harm.

“The health sector needs to transition to clean, renewable energy and deploy other primary prevention strategies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Health care has to step up and do its part to avoid catastrophic climate change, which would be devastating to human health worldwide,” said Karliner.

Held at the Wellcome Trust, the London launch event included a high-level panel moderated by Howard Frumkin, head of Our Planet Our Health at the Wellcome Trust.

Panelists included Mandeep Daliwhal, director of the UN Development Programme’s HIV, Health, and Development Group, as well as representatives from the World Health Organization, WHO, the National Health Service, Health Care Without Harm, and Arup.

The report was also showcased at the Climate and Health Conference in Medellin, Columbia, which featured Health Care Without Harm, city officials, the provincial government of Antioquia, Antioquia University and WHO’s Pan American Health Organization.

Hospitals, health systems and their supply chains in the United States, China, and the European Union, make up more than half of health care’s worldwide emissions. And while differing in scale, every nation’s health sector directly and indirectly releases greenhouse gases as it delivers care.

“Health sector facilities are the operational heart of service delivery, protecting health, treating patients, and saving lives. Yet health sector facilities are also a source of carbon emissions, contributing to climate change. Places of healing should be leading the way, not contributing to the burden of disease,” says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization.

The report calls for a global roadmap for climate-smart health care in order to reduce emissions, while meeting goals such as universal health coverage. The report also outlines immediate actions that stakeholders from across the health sector could take.

First, individual hospitals and independent health systems should follow the example of thousands of hospitals already moving toward climate-smart healthcare via Health Care Without Harm’s Health Care Climate Challenge and other initiatives.

Also, national and subnational governments should build on existing initiatives to establish action plans to decarbonize their health systems, foster resilience, and improve health outcomes.
Finally, bilateral aid agencies, multilateral development banks, other health funding agencies and philanthropies should integrate climate-smart principles and strategies into their health aid, lending, and policy guidance for developing countries.

The report concludes that health promotion, disease prevention, universal health coverage, and the global climate goal of net zero emissions must become intertwined.

“The health sector must become climate-smart,” says Gary Cohen, founder of Health Care Without Harm. “Both climate justice and health equity depend on it.”

Health Care Without Harm works to transform the health sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it becomes ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice. For more information about this report, visit noharm.org/ClimateFootprintReport.

© Environment News Service (ENS) 2019. All rights reserved.
www.ens-newswire.com

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