Climate change and environmental health

Climate change and environmental health This document provides an overview of the projected effects of climate change on environmental health, and how it may impact on the health of New Zealanders. A review of the relevant local and international literature was conducted to identify environmental health risks for New Zealand linked to climate change, and to anticipate future risks over the next 50-100 years. This is the timescale in which modelled climate projections are the most reliable. Section 1 provides background and context, including local and global information on changing climate. Each section from 2-8 discusses a component of environmental health (e.g air quality impacts on health) and how climate may modify this relationship. At the end of each of these sections some of the available options for responding to these environmental health risks are explored. These “adaptation options” are summarised at the end of each relevant section. Section 9 includes a section on mitigation and adaptation for the health sector, recognising that both are required to reduce health impacts whilst also reducing heat-trapping gas emissions. The main points of the entire review are included in the conclusion at the end of section 9 with gaps identified in the literature of particular importance to New Zealand.

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