Intended for healthcare professionals


Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 25 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4952
  1. Jenny Griffiths, independent health consultant1,
  2. Mala Rao, director2
  1. 152 Brushfield Way, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey GU21 2TQ
  2. 2Indian Institute of Public Health, Vengalrao Nagar, Hyderabad 500038, India
  1. griffhobbs{at}

What’s good for the climate is good for health

Policies for health, development, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions should be integrated—that is the central message from an important series of papers “Public health impacts of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” published in the Lancet this week.1 2 3 4 5 6

In the first major study of its kind, the Climate Change Mitigation and Public Health Task Force, an international team of 55 researchers from nine countries chaired by Professor Sir Andy Haines, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has modelled the health effects of different policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in high and low income countries. The Climate and Health Council, sponsored by the BMJ, was instrumental in making the case for the programme of work. The project was funded by the Wellcome Trust with a consortium of other funders.

The serious and immediate threat to human health from the unstable climate is increasingly evident. In March 2009, an international climate congress of 2500 scientists concluded that the worst case scenarios in the reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change7 were likely …

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