Monday, June 29, 2015

Improving Health by Tackling Climate Change

A recent has identified several significant opportunities to improve human health by tackling climate change, most notably the phasing out of coal. This is the finding in the 2015 edition of The Lancet, Comission on Health and Climate. This report involved the work of more than 40 researchers and it was published in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet.

"[T]tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of this century," the report said. "Many mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change are 'no-regret' options, which lead to direct reductions in the burden of ill-health, enhance community resilience, alleviate poverty, and address global inequity."

The report argues that climate change should be seen as a health threat like tobacco, HIV/AIDS, and polio. The put forth recommendations for governments to improve public health.

The report said: "Many of the 2,200 coal-fired plants currently proposed for construction globally will damage health unless replaced with cleaner energy alternatives. As part of the transition to renewable energy, there will be a cautious transitional role for natural gas."

The Commission has made 10 recommendations for governments, including the "rapid phase out of coal" to "protect cardiovascular and respiratory health".

Nobel laureate Professor Peter Doherty said "Anything that has an environmental effect will also have a human effect and that's what they emphasise very much in this report."

To see the report click here.

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