A global climate-health campaign ‘Our Climate Our Health’ launched this week aims to put health at the heart of climate negotiations and policy.
The Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) campaign aims to raise awareness of the ways that climate change impacts on health, and the health benefits of climate action.
‘Our Climate Our Health’ joins the building health voice calling for health to be central to climate negotiations and policy, along with ‘Doctorsforclimateaction’, the World Health Organization, and NZ Health Professionals.
Health threats globally and for NZ include illness and injury from heat waves and extreme weather events, changing patterns of infectious diseases, and wider impacts from loss of livelihoods, food and water shortages, migration, and conflict.
But well-planned action to reduce climate-damaging emissions could improve health and wellbeing, and help ease pressure on the national health budgets.
“For example, rapid moves to more walking, cycling and public transport will cut transport emissions, reduce air pollution, and boost physical activity - impacting obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory disease” says Dr Macmillan from The NZ Climate and Health Council.
New research has outlined the health and economic gains expected for different countries depending on their post 2020 climate targets (INDCs). For example China’s emissions reduction plans will save 75 lives per million people per year because of less air pollution, but stronger targets would lead to larger gains.
“The emerging international research is beginning to demonstrate that NZ’s weak targets not only fail to make a fair contribution to protecting health by maintaining a healthy climate, they also mean New Zealanders are missing out on huge health and wellbeing benefits that could be gained through climate action”.
“The ‘Our Climate Our Health’ campaign is another clear message to Governments, the health sector, and society that health is at the heart of climate change”
Media Spokesperson: Dr Alex Macmillan, Mob. 021 322 625
Alex Macmillan ([email protected]) is a Public Health Physician and Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago and Co-Convenor of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council.
OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council are health professionals concerned with climate change as a serious public health threat. They also promote the positive health gains that can be achieved through action to address climate change. See: www.orataiao.org.nz
About Climate Change and Health
See NZ specific climate-health information in the NZ Medial Journal paper:
‘Health and equity impacts of climate change in Aotearoa-New Zealand, and health gains from climate action’.
Research Report ‘Assessing the Missed Benefits of Countries’ National Contributions’
This report elaborated by NewClimate Institute with support from Climate Action Network (CAN) and the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA), investigates the co-benefits associated with countries’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).