By Cameron Chai
A team of international experts, four of whom are from Umeå University have published a paper on climate change in this week’s edition of PloS Medicine. They feel that advocating of climate and health at the UN level must be reciprocated by public health actions thus rendering climate and health co-benefits.
The experts are from institutions in South Africa, Sweden and Germany. They will be highlighting the need to enhance climate and health benefits at the UN level.
This article will focus on views of these authors who feel that a healthy climate can be constantly maintained only by an overall global effort through small-scale and large-scale actions, which must involve active participation of the public health community.
The authors state that there is proof of significant health impacts of climate change in many sectors and these impacts lead to crisis in public health very similar to the impact of tobacco on the health of individuals. The authors highlight that this negative impact on health is because the general population is not sufficiently informed on the importance of public health.
The authors suggest that reduction in climatic impact and individual health benefits can be achieved if individuals are encouraged to cycle and walk instead of using other modes of transport and to eat healthy locally produced foodstuffs.
Regulating ones life according to the society is important as a global approach to bring about climate and health benefits in societal and corporate domains also. The authors insist that governments should take measures to spread the importance of these benefits by considering public opinions also. The authors feel that legal reforms and regulatory action should also help in promoting environmental and climate benefits.
On the whole the authors believe that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process will result in an improving prognosis to which contributions by the public health community will render climate and health co-benefits.