Image Credit: The Lancet
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"We are learning that the health of our planet and the health of our people are tied together. It’s difficult for one to thrive without the other," said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Climate change is not a problem that one country or one organization can solve on its own. It’s a problem that affects us all."
The household energy paper showed that introducing low-emission stove technology, specifically replacing biomass stoves in India, could improve respiratory health. The study says the technology is one of the most cost-effective climate-health linkages, given that indoor air pollution from inefficient cooking stoves increases respiratory infections in children and chronic heart disease in adults.
The food production study showed that the food and agriculture sector contributes about 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, and that a 30 percent reduction in consumption of saturated fats from animal sources would reduce heart disease by about 15 percent while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The study found that in Britain, a 30 percent lower intake of animal-source saturated fat by adults would reduce the number of premature deaths from heart disease by some 17 percent -- equivalent to 18,000 premature deaths averted in one year. The scientists said global action was needed to maximize the benefits of cutting meat production and consumption.
The transportation study showed that cutting emissions by reducing motor vehicle use and increasing walking and cycling would bring substantial health gains by reducing heart disease and stroke by 10-20 percent, dementia by 8 percent, and depression by 5 percent.
The Lancet Study details are here, and the full text on the Food and Agriculture Study is here.