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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Apr 4;15(4). pii: E674. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15040674.

The Political Economy of Health Co-Benefits: Embedding Health in the Climate Change Agenda.

Author information

1
Australian-German Climate and Energy College, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia. a.workman@student.unimelb.edu.au.
2
School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia. a.workman@student.unimelb.edu.au.
3
The Nossal Institute for Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia. gblashki@unimelb.edu.au.
4
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra 0200, Australia. kathryn.bowen@anu.edu.au.
5
School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia. dkaroly@unimelb.edu.au.
6
Australian-German Climate and Energy College, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia. jwiseman@unimelb.edu.au.
7
Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia. jwiseman@unimelb.edu.au.

Abstract

A complex, whole-of-economy issue such as climate change demands an interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral response. However, evidence suggests that human health has remained elusive in its influence on the development of ambitious climate change mitigation policies for many national governments, despite a recognition that the combustion of fossil fuels results in pervasive short- and long-term health consequences. We use insights from literature on the political economy of health and climate change, the science–policy interface and power in policy-making, to identify additional barriers to the meaningful incorporation of health co-benefits into climate change mitigation policy development. Specifically, we identify four key interrelated areas where barriers may exist in relation to health co-benefits: discourse, efficiency, vested interests and structural challenges. With these insights in mind, we argue that the current politico-economic paradigm in which climate change is situated and the processes used to develop climate change mitigation policies do not adequately support accounting for health co-benefits. We present approaches for enhancing the role of health co-benefits in the development of climate change mitigation policies to ensure that health is embedded in the broader climate change agenda.

KEYWORDS:

climate change; co-benefits; health; political economy

PMID:
29617317
PMCID:
PMC5923716
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph15040674
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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