Media

#ISBNPA2019, Keynote, Andy Haines: Health in a changing climate.

20 June 2019

Presented at #ISBNPA2019, June 4

Chair: Ralph Maddison

Urgent action is required to keep to the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement which aims to limit a global mean temperature rise this century well below 2° C above pre-industrial levels and ‘to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5° C. Currently we are on a trajectory which would result in a rise of about 3.2° C by the end of the century in the absence of more effective policies to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and short-lived climate pollutants, such as methane and black carbon. Many such policies can yield major co-benefits for health and development more widely, through reduced exposure to particulate and ozone air pollution and through healthy sustainable diets and increased physical activity. Greater recognition of these multiple near-term benefits can help overcome barriers to urgent action. However such policies need to be designed carefully in order to avoid unintended harms, examples include the promotion of diesel vehicles as a ‘low-carbon‘ alternative to petrol or the effects on food prices of poorly designed biofuel policies. This presentation will give an overview of recent developments in quantifying the health and related (co)-benefits of different policy options to cut emissions in a range of sectors including transport, food and agriculture, housing and energy. It will also discuss how to minimise the risks of unintended adverse consequences.