Global Health Institute Director Jonathan Patz, professor and John P. Holton Chair in Health and the Environment, presents a Weston Roundtable lecture that looks at whether the costs and benefits of a low-carbon economy fully appreciated.
The global climate crisis poses many risks to human health: heat waves, famines, weather-sensitive infectious diseases, extreme storms, sea level rise and infrastructure collapse. Yet climate change mitigation policies could potentially have enormous public health benefits that stem from improved air quality and the physical fitness that active transport promotes. These represent the Silver Lining or “co-benefits” of action to confront today’s global climate crisis. In short, climate change presents large human health risks; climate change actions, however, offer health benefits — possibly the greatest health opportunities in more than a century.