Public health benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions
A major international study has concluded that many measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will have positive impacts for health. These co-benefits will offset at least some of the costs of climate change mitigation, and should be taken into account in international negotiations.
An international team of researchers, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has modelled the health effects of different policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in high and low income countries.Case studies focus on four key sectors: power generation, transport, household energy, and food and agriculture.
The results were published in a special series in the Lancet on 25 November 2009, and launched at a high-profile event in London, attended by the UK Secretary of State for Health and video-linked to a simultaneous event in Washington.
- The health benefits of tackling climate change (an executive summary for the ‘Lancet’ series) [PDF]
- ‘Lancet’ series: Health and climate change
- Researchers explore the health benefits of climate change policies (News: 25 November 2009)
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the importance of the Lancet's studies for the global community.
Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, on the US and global response to climate change and its impact on health.
Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, about the need to raise the priority of health concerns in the debate surrounding climate change.
Podcasts and presentations
Audio podcasts from the 25 November 2009 event (recorded by Green-Shoot):
Audio: Presentation from the event [MP3 5.4MB 23m 1s].
Audio: Press conference from event [MP3 11.5MB 49m 11s]
Presentations from the 25 November 2009 event:
- Professor Sir Andy Haines, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, ‘Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions’ [PPT 2.9MB]
- Professor Ian Gilmore, Royal College of Physicians, ‘The health impacts of climate change - the role of health professionals’ [PPT 2.1MB]
- Professor AJ McMichael, Australian National University, ‘Health impacts of climate change’ [PPT 6.6MB]
- Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Department of Health, ‘The UK response: adaptation and mitigation strategies’ [PPT 2.8MB]
- Dr Maria Neira, World Health Organization, ‘Climate Change and Health: The global response’ [PPT 1.4MB]
- Scientists study potential health impacts of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (Press release: 14 May 2009)
- Making a change (News: 26 March 2009)
The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Department of Health, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Royal College of Physicians, the Economic and Social Research Council, the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Academy of Medical Sciences.