Across the NHS, anaesthetic gases are commonly used as a part of everyday surgeries. These gases alone, along with analgesic gases like nitrous oxide, are responsible for over around 2% of all NHS emissions.
Amongst anaesthetic gases, desflurane is one of the most common, but also one of the most harmful. It has 20 times the environmental impact of other less harmful greenhouse gases and using a bottle has the same global warming effect as burning 440 kg of coal.
2% of the NHS carbon footprint comes from anaesthetic and analgesic practices. The NHS Long Term plan commits to lowering this by 40% by “transforming anaesthetic practices” such as using alternatives to desflurane.