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      Health benefits of policies to reduce carbon emissions

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          Abstract

          James Milner and colleagues argue that carefully considered policies to lower carbon emissions can also improve health, and we should use these benefits to push for strong climate action

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          Most cited references19

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          Meta-analyses of the determinants and outcomes of belief in climate change

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            Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: urban land transport.

            We used Comparative Risk Assessment methods to estimate the health effects of alternative urban land transport scenarios for two settings-London, UK, and Delhi, India. For each setting, we compared a business-as-usual 2030 projection (without policies for reduction of greenhouse gases) with alternative scenarios-lower-carbon-emission motor vehicles, increased active travel, and a combination of the two. We developed separate models that linked transport scenarios with physical activity, air pollution, and risk of road traffic injury. In both cities, we noted that reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through an increase in active travel and less use of motor vehicles had larger health benefits per million population (7332 disability-adjusted life-years [DALYs] in London, and 12 516 in Delhi in 1 year) than from the increased use of lower-emission motor vehicles (160 DALYs in London, and 1696 in Delhi). However, combination of active travel and lower-emission motor vehicles would give the largest benefits (7439 DALYs in London, 12 995 in Delhi), notably from a reduction in the number of years of life lost from ischaemic heart disease (10-19% in London, 11-25% in Delhi). Although uncertainties remain, climate change mitigation in transport should benefit public health substantially. Policies to increase the acceptability, appeal, and safety of active urban travel, and discourage travel in private motor vehicles would provide larger health benefits than would policies that focus solely on lower-emission motor vehicles.
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              Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: overview and implications for policy makers.

              This Series has examined the health implications of policies aimed at tackling climate change. Assessments of mitigation strategies in four domains-household energy, transport, food and agriculture, and electricity generation-suggest an important message: that actions to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions often, although not always, entail net benefits for health. In some cases, the potential benefits seem to be substantial. This evidence provides an additional and immediate rationale for reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions beyond that of climate change mitigation alone. Climate change is an increasing and evolving threat to the health of populations worldwide. At the same time, major public health burdens remain in many regions. Climate change therefore adds further urgency to the task of addressing international health priorities, such as the UN Millennium Development Goals. Recognition that mitigation strategies can have substantial benefits for both health and climate protection offers the possibility of policy choices that are potentially both more cost effective and socially attractive than are those that address these priorities independently. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: assistant professor
                Role: reader
                Role: principal research associate
                Role: professor in air quality research
                Role: professor of building physics and the environment
                Role: professor of environmental epidemiology
                Role: professor of environmental change and public health
                Journal
                BMJ
                BMJ
                BMJ-UK
                bmj
                The BMJ
                BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
                0959-8138
                1756-1833
                2020
                30 March 2020
                : 368
                : l6758
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Public Health, Environments and Society, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
                [2 ]Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
                [3 ]UCL Energy Institute, University College London, London, UK
                [4 ]Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), MRC Epidemiology Unit, School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
                [5 ]Environmental Research Group and Medical Research Council Centre for Environment and Health, King’s College London, London, UK
                [6 ]UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, University College London, London, UK
                [7 ]Department of Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: J Milner james.milner@ 123456lshtm.ac.uk
                Article
                milj51772
                10.1136/bmj.l6758
                7190375
                32229476
                3a5a7958-ad82-4bc6-9add-ad7ecd406fe4
                © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                Categories
                Analysis
                Health in the Anthropocene

                Medicine
                Medicine

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