NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Climate change and health: impacts, vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation

Tord Kjellstrom, Haylee J. Weaver

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 20(2) 5–9 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/NB08053 Published online: 25 February 2009

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About the author/s

Tord Kjellstrom

Haylee J. Weaver

Abstract

Global climate change is progressing and health impacts have been observed in a number of countries, including Australia. The main health impacts will be due to direct heat exposure, extreme weather, air pollution, reduced local food production, food- and vectorborne infectious diseases and mental stress. The issue is one of major public health importance. Adaptation to reduce the effects of climate change involves many different sectors to minimise negative health outcomes. Wide-scale mitigation is also required, in order to reduce the effects of climate change. In addition, future urban design must be modified to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Strategies for mitigation and adaptation can create co-benefits for both individual and community health, by reducing non-climate-related health hazard exposures and by encouraging health promoting behaviours and lifestyles.