Doctoral student writing

Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in the NHS England: The impact of policies on strategies and processes

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2018
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


The aim of this PhD project is to map and evaluate the different policies, strategies and processes of the NHS England with regards to climate change adaptation and mitigation and to measure and suggest improvements on how the health sector contributes to two of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 7, Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, and SDG 13, Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

The latest report from the Sustainable Development Unit of the NHS England (2016) estimates that the carbon footprint of the health and care sector represents 39% of public sector emissions in England. At the same time the health sector is strongly contributing to the National Adaptation Programme making sure the health system is resilient and adapted to climate change (Healthcare System Adaptation Report Working Group 2015). NHS England is therefore committed to policies and processes in relation to climate change mitigation (“Technological change and substitution that reduce resource inputs and emissions per unit of output. Although several social, economic and technological policies would produce an emission reduction, with respect to Climate Change, mitigation means implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks” IPCC, 2007: page 84) and adaptation (“Initiatives and measures to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems against actual or expected climate change effects ” IPCC, 2007: page 76).

In 2015, countries adopted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Two of the seventeen goals are dedicated to climate change mitigation and adaptation and each sector is encouraged to contribute to these global goals. This project seeks to develop models representing the efforts of the health sector in England and developing frameworks on how the health sector could contribute successfully to climate change mitigation and adaption.


Healthcare System Adaptation Report Working Group (2015), Adaptation Report for the Healthcare System 2015, Cambridge Available at: [Accessed 01/06/2017]
IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, Pachauri, R.K and Reisinger, A. (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland
Sustainable Development Unit, 2016. Carbon update for the health and care sector in England 2015, Cambridge. Available at: [Accessed 01/06/2017]
United Nations, 2015. Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform Our World. [online] Available at: [Accessed 01/06/2017]


Dr Petra Molthan-Hill

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

Download an application form here.
Please make sure you take a look at our application guidance notes before making your application.

Further information on how to apply can be found on this page.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

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Petra Molthan-Hill