Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: overview and implications for policy makers

Andy Haines, Anthony J. McMichael, Kirk R. Smith, Ian Roberts, James Woodcock, Anil Markandya, Ben G. Armstrong, Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Alan D. Dangour, Michael Davies, Nigel Bruce, Cathryn Tonne, Mark Barrett, Paul Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

334 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This Series has examined the health implications of policies aimed at tackling climate change. Assessments of mitigation strategies in four domains-household energy, transport, food and agriculture, and electricity generation-suggest an important message: that actions to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions often, although not always, entail net benefits for health. In some cases, the potential benefits seem to be substantial. This evidence provides an additional and immediate rationale for reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions beyond that of climate change mitigation alone. Climate change is an increasing and evolving threat to the health of populations worldwide. At the same time, major public health burdens remain in many regions. Climate change therefore adds further urgency to the task of addressing international health priorities, such as the UN Millennium Development Goals. Recognition that mitigation strategies can have substantial benefits for both health and climate protection offers the possibility of policy choices that are potentially both more cost effective and socially attractive than are those that address these priorities independently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2104-2114
Number of pages11
JournalThe Lancet
Volume374
Issue number9707
Early online date26 Nov 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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