Coronavirus resource center

Solutions to address the climate and pollution impacts of COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic put an extraordinary and unprecedented burden on health systems, organizations, and professionals. For the first time in many years, we faced a global crisis that challenged every country’s capacity to deliver health care services. 

The pandemic response and recovery investment highlighted the need for preparedness, equity in health access, and the importance of adaptive and resilient health systems worldwide.

COVID-19 response and recovery investment needs to advance climate-smart and sustainable health care.

Health Care Without Harm and its strategic partners developed resources to offer solutions to some of the challenges the crisis revealed. The development of these resources has shown us that we can build forward better and fairer while investing in resilient, sustainable, and low-emission health systems to tackle multiple crises.

  • COVID-19 and climate-smart health care: Health sector opportunities for synergistic response to the COVID-19 and climate crises: This report from the World Bank, Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice, coauthored by Health Care Without Harm, and supported by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) focuses on how low-carbon and climate-resilient health solutions present opportunities to tackle the converged crises of the current pandemic, those in the future, and climate change. The report examines how vulnerable communities– the elderly, people with preexisting or chronic conditions (especially related to respiratory illnesses), ethnic minorities, indigenous people, and those experiencing poverty are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and climate change. It also looks at how the two crises laid bare the chronic capacity deficiencies in managing these public health threats. Download the report and executive summary.
  • Beyond COVID-19: Toward healthy people, a healthy planet, justice, and equity: A statement by the Health Care Without Harm Global Network supports the WHO Manifesto for a Healthy Recovery and its prescriptions for a healthy, green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Sustainable healthcare during a pandemic: Whilst working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Health Care Without Harm Europe team shared some of their thoughts on lessons from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Coronavirus and the climate crisis - Common causes and shared solutions: Editorial addressing how the coronavirus pandemic evidenced the interconnectedness between global human and planetary health.
  • Build back healthier - Prescriptions for a sustainable and equitable COVID-19 recovery: This campaign of Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia, with the support of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) - Asia Pacific aims at influencing policymakers and leaders in the region to integrate sustainability and climate-resilience goals in their COVID-19 recovery action plans.

  • Technical brief: COVID-19 vaccination and municipal waste management: Authored by the World Bank, GEF, the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, and Health Care Without Harm, this briefing provides a summary of existing guidance on managing COVID-19 vaccination waste as well as data points for further references.
  • Health care waste management factsheet: Comprehensive document with the latest information and recommendations on how to address waste management in a coronavirus context. Factsheet available in [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese] [Bahasa] [Polish]. Watch the Training video.
  • Toolkit for COVID-19 waste management: This document, developed by Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia, contains methodological adjustments of previous protocols to ensure the safety of everyone involved in waste audits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Protection without pollution: COVID-19 waste-reduction strategies - Guidance for sustainable glove purchasing: As health care facilities rethink their purchasing and supply chains in the wake of COVID-19, this guidance can serve as a roadmap for advancing sustainable options. Available in [English] [Portuguese].
  • Protection without pollution: COVID-19 waste-reduction strategies - Guidance for immunization waste management: The huge need for masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment has, in many cases, led to an increase in health care waste. This guidance provides recommendations on how to better manage and safely dispose of waste associated with immunization [English].
  • Protection without pollution: COVID-19 waste-reduction strategies - Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment for immunization practices: This document is for health professionals who are using PPE as they administer vaccinations. It will help vaccine administrators ensure infection prevention while reducing unnecessary product use and waste [English].

  • Antimicrobials in hospital furnishings: Do they help combat COVID-19?: This report includes best practices for infection prevention and control, protocols for evaluating infectivity of COVID-19 on surfaces, and recommendations for the health care sector, and for furnishings and building products manufacturers.
  • Disinfection tunnels factsheet: This factsheet analyzes the use of disinfectant tunnels and disinfection spraying of the population to address the pandemic. There is a lack of evidence demonstrating that these practices are safe and effective, and their use may create a false sense of security, and pose hazards for the community. Health Care Without Harm recommends against the use of disinfection tunnels and disinfectant spraying of the general population. Available in [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese].