Location-specific health impacts of climate change require location-specific responses

Cai, W., Zhang, C., Suen, H.P., Ai, S., Bai, Y., Bao, J., Chen, B., Cheng, L., et al. (2021). Location-specific health impacts of climate change require location-specific responses. Chinese Science Bulletin 66 (31) 3925-3931. 10.1360/TB-2021-0140.

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Left unmitigated, climate change poses a catastrophic risk to human health, demanding an urgent and concerted response from every country. The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change and The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change have been initiated to map out the impacts of climate change and the necessary policy responses. To meet these challenges, Tsinghua University, partnering with the University College London and 17 Chinese and international institutions, has prepared the Chinese Lancet Countdown report, which has a national focus and builds on the work of the global Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change. Drawing on international methodologies and frameworks, this report aims to deepen the understanding of the links between public health and climate change at the national level and track them with 23 indicators. This work is part of the Lancet's Countdown broader efforts to develop regional expertise on this topic, and coincides with the launch of the Lancet Countdown Regional Centre in Asia, based at Tsinghua University. The data and results of this report are presented at the provincial level, where possible, to facilitate targeted response strategies for local decision-makers. Based on the data and findings of the 2020 Chinese Lancet Countdown report, five recommendations are proposed to key stakeholders in health and climate change in China: (1) Enhance inter-departmental cooperation. Climate change is a challenge that demands an integrated response from all sectors, urgently requiring substantial inter-departmental cooperation among health, environment, energy, economic, financial, and education authorities. (2) Strengthen health emergency preparedness. Knowledge and findings on current and future climate-related health threats still lack the required attention and should be fully integrated into the emergency preparedness and response system. (3) Support research and raise awareness. Additional financial support should be allocated to health and climate change research in China to enhance health system adaptation, mitigation measures, and their health benefits. At the same time, media and academia should be fully motivated to raise the public and politicians' awareness of this topic. (4) Increase climate change mitigation. Speeding up the phasing out of coal is necessary to be consistent with China's pledge to be carbon neutral by 2060 and to continue to reduce air pollution. Fossil fuel subsidies must also be phased out. (5) Ensure the recovery from COVID-19 to protect health now and in the future. China's efforts to recover from COVID-19 will shape public health for years to come. Climate change should be a priority in these interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Air pollution; China; Climate change; Extreme weather; Public health
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Pollution Management (PM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2021 08:37
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2021 08:37
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17649

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