Source: OraTaiao, 26 October 2017
Health professionals say a report released today by the Royal
Society of New Zealand should be a wake-up call about the
wide-ranging health impacts of climate change.
The report,Human Health Impacts of Climate Change for New
Zealand, brings together an extensive body of evidence,
highlighting the profound implications of climate change for health
and quality of life.
OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council Co-convenor Dr Rhys
Jones explains: "our health and wellbeing depend on clean water and
air, healthy food, adequate shelter, safe temperatures,
disease-protection, stable communities and manageable stress
levels. Climate change affects all these things."
"It's particularly concerning because climate change will widen
already unacceptable health disparities, with vulnerable groups
being most seriously affected," says Dr Jones.
Last week's Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ
report revealed that New Zealand had increased long-living carbon
dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions by 64% since 1990.
"New Zealand's high emissions economy is damaging our health now
and poses a serious threat to future health and wellbeing," says Dr
Jones. "These reports provide clear evidence that New Zealand can
no longer afford to delay action to reduce emissions."
"Tackling climate change also represents an incredible
opportunity for better and fairer health outcomes for New
"For example, even just a five percent shift from car to cycle
for short trips would save more than 120 lives each year and reduce
climate pollution. Insulating more NZ homes means fewer days off
school and work, and fewer hospital admissions - and again, less
"To achieve these win-win outcomes, health and equity must be at
the centre of decision making as we transition to a zero-carbon
society. New Zealand's climate policy must be underpinned by Te
Tiriti o Waitangi and prioritise the most vulnerable groups in
"It's critical that we make fairer, healthier choices for New
Zealanders right now, and for the generations that follow," says Dr