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Perspective

Climate Solutions Double as Health Interventions

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Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53726, USA
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Project Drawdown, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
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Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
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Global Health Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
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Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53726, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13339; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413339
Received: 1 November 2021 / Revised: 6 December 2021 / Accepted: 15 December 2021 / Published: 18 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
The climate crisis threatens to exacerbate numerous climate-sensitive health risks, including heatwave mortality, malnutrition from reduced crop yields, water- and vector-borne infectious diseases, and respiratory illness from smog, ozone, allergenic pollen, and wildfires. Recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stress the urgent need for action to mitigate climate change, underscoring the need for more scientific assessment of the benefits of climate action for health and wellbeing. Project Drawdown has analyzed more than 80 solutions to address climate change, building on existing technologies and practices, that could be scaled to collectively limit warming to between 1.5° and 2 °C above preindustrial levels. The solutions span nine major sectors and are aggregated into three groups: reducing the sources of emissions, maintaining and enhancing carbon sinks, and addressing social inequities. Here we present an overview of how climate solutions in these three areas can benefit human health through improved air quality, increased physical activity, healthier diets, reduced risk of infectious disease, and improved sexual and reproductive health, and universal education. We find that the health benefits of a low-carbon society are more substantial and more numerous than previously realized and should be central to policies addressing climate change. Much of the existing literature focuses on health effects in high-income countries, however, and more research is needed on health and equity implications of climate solutions, especially in the Global South. We conclude that adding the myriad health benefits across multiple climate change solutions can likely add impetus to move climate policies faster and further. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; climate mitigation; energy; health benefits; air quality; physical activity; diet and nutrition; infectious disease; voluntary family planning; universal education climate change; climate mitigation; energy; health benefits; air quality; physical activity; diet and nutrition; infectious disease; voluntary family planning; universal education
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mailloux, N.A.; Henegan, C.P.; Lsoto, D.; Patterson, K.P.; West, P.C.; Foley, J.A.; Patz, J.A. Climate Solutions Double as Health Interventions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 13339. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413339

AMA Style

Mailloux NA, Henegan CP, Lsoto D, Patterson KP, West PC, Foley JA, Patz JA. Climate Solutions Double as Health Interventions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(24):13339. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413339

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mailloux, Nicholas A., Colleen P. Henegan, Dorothy Lsoto, Kristen P. Patterson, Paul C. West, Jonathan A. Foley, and Jonathan A. Patz. 2021. "Climate Solutions Double as Health Interventions" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 24: 13339. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413339

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