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Lancet. 2009 Dec 19;374(9707):2104-2114. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61759-1. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: overview and implications for policy makers.

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London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK. Electronic address:
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
Ikerbasque, BC3 (Basque Centre for Climate Change), Bilbao, Spain; University of Bath, Bath, UK.
Public Health and Environment (PHE), World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London, London, UK.
School of Population, Community and Behavioural Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
UCL Energy Institute, London, UK.


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.

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