The Health Co-Benefits of Climate Action
The good news about taking action to mitigate climate change is that the same policies that reduce carbon emissions can provide immediate and significant health benefits. Active transportation, reducing air pollution from transportation and energy production, greening our public spaces, and prioritizing plant-based foods are both good for us and good for our climate. In an era where climate science is continually questioned, the cost savings and health benefits of climate change mitigation offer powerful justification for policy change.
Why do we care about co-benefits? Notes from two of our Climate & Health Task Force members, and authors of WPSR's recently released paper, "The Health Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation in Washington State".
"Patients and providers are often inundated with overwhelming data about how climate change is impacting human health, but it's not always clear exactly where and how we have an opportunity to influence these changes. This co-benefits paper offers succinct recommendations for providers, patients, and policy makers on how each of us can help improve the health of our planet while simultaneously improving our own health. Each of us has a role to play." - Mary Margaret Thomas, RN, member of WPSR's Climate & Health Task Force
“As a cardiologist, I see firsthand how the consequences of air pollution and climate change impact my patients. With Washington seeing new proposals for policies that put a price on carbon pollution, we hope this paper will encourage action.” - Mark Vossler, MD, Co-Chair of WPSR's Climate & Health Task Force.
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read the full paper
In February, 2018, members of our Climate & Health Task Force released a peer-reviewed report focusing co-benefits research on Washington State. It outlines these co-benefits and offers specific policy recommendations to support health and reduce emissions in Washington.
How can Washington State realize these co-benefits? This fact sheet offers concrete policy recommendations.
What are co-benefits, and how can we see and apply them in our daily habits and behavior? This infographic offers a basic overview.