NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Chronic disease and climate change: understanding co-benefits and their policy implications

Anthony G. Capon, Chris E. Rissel

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 21(6) 109–113 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/NB10032 Published online: 16 July 2010

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About the author/s

Anthony G. Capon

Chris E. Rissel

Abstract

Chronic disease and climate change are major public policy challenges facing governments around the world. An improved understanding of the relationship between chronic disease and climate change should enable improved policy formulation to support both human health and the health of the planet. Chronic disease and climate change are both unintended consequences of our way of life, and are attributable in part to the ready availability of inexpensive fossil fuel energy. There are co-benefits for health from actions to address climate change. For example, substituting physical activity and a vegetable-rich diet for motor vehicle transport and a meat-rich diet is both good for health and good for the planet. We should encourage ways of living that use less carbon as these can be healthy ways of living, for both individuals and society. Quantitative modelling of co-benefits should inform policy responses.