Climate and Health
The recent University of Oslo – Lancet Commission on politics and health inequity did not include discussions of the consequences of climate change.
Centre for International Health Director, Bente Moen, and previous Director, Gunnar Kvåle, have written a commentary on the Commission’s report in The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association (Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening).
According to Moen and Kvåle, while the commissioned report highlighted important concerns about the unacceptability of existing inequities in health and health services between and within countries, it did not discuss the considerable potential impacts of climate change on global health.
Planetary health – and if the planet dies?
The authors state that “climate change has been described by a previous Lancet commission as the greatest threat to human health of our century.” They add that debates concerning global targets for health and sustainable development need to include discussions of “planetary health”. Policies for ensuring economic development and poverty reduction need to be established in the context considerations of climate change and its impacts on global health. For example, sustainable energy production needs to be addressed.
Safeguarding good health is a major challenge for capitalism
Political will is necessary for the radical changes necessary in national and international policies around the globe. Action is needed – but initiatives need to involve close cooperation between actors, such as between the UN Climate Panel and Global Health authorities.