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gas emission reductions exclude health co-benefits.And health gains are not considered in the UNFCCCclean development mechanisms used to finance manytypes of low-carbon development. Taken together, thisleads to a bias against greener policy decisions, and amissed opportunity for health, for the environment,and for the economy.WHO believes this can change. Initial findings fromWHO's series of reviews on Health in the GreenEconomy cover the potential co-benefits to health of mitigation action in: agriculture, transport,household energy, residential construction and healthcare facilities.These reviews summarise current knowledge andidentify important opportunities for re-thinking,strengthening, or fine-tuning existing policies to both enhance health and reduce our global carbon footprint.But this is only a first step. Our aim is to make thestrategic, political and scientific case for placinggreater emphasis on the health dimension as a way toimprove, relevance, and effectiveness of climatepolicy. A new and strengthened health focus, webelieve, can revitalise public engagement, and lead tofuture climate policies that take the biggest step yettowards global health in human history. nABOUT THE AUTHORDr Maria P. Neira was appointed Director of theDepartment of Public Health and Environment at TheWorld Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland inSeptember 2005. Prior to that, she was Vice-Minister of Health and President of the Spanish Food Safety Agency. She had previously held senior positions in WHO as Director of the Control, Prevention and Eradication Programme on Communicable Diseases and as Coordinator of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control.Dr Neira began her career as a field physician andmedical coordinator working with refugees in ElSalvador and Honduras and later as a public healthadviser in Mozambique and Rwanda.Dr Neira is a Spanish national, and a medical doctorby training. She specialised in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases and also obtained anInternational Diploma in Emergency Preparednessand Crisis Management.Among her many distinctions, Dr Neira has beenawarded the Médaille de l'Ordre national du Mérite bythe Government of France and is a member of theAcademy of Medicine, Asturias, Spain.Acharya J, Bajgain MS, SubediPS, "Scaling up biogasinNepal, what else is needed."Boiling Point, 50;2005.Campbell-Lendrum D,Molyneux D, et al."Ecosystems and vector bornedisease control", In:Ecosystems and human well-being: policy responses, Vol. 3.Findings of the ResponsesWorking Group, MillenniumEcosystem Assessment,London, 2005, pp.353 374.Cavill N, Kahlmeier S, RacioppiF, eds. Physical activity andhealth in Europe: evidence foraction. Copenhagen: WorldHealth Organization; 2006.Edwards P, Tsouros AD. Ahealthy city is an active city: aphysical activity planningguide. Copenhagen: WorldHealth Organization; 2008.Fuel for life: household energyand health. Geneva, WorldHealth Organization, 2006.Global health risks, mortalityand burden of diseaseattributable to selected majorrisks. Geneva, World HealthOrganization, 2009.Kahn Ribeiro S, Kobayashi S,Beuthe M, et al. "Transportand its infrastructure." In: Metz B, Davidson OR,Bosch PR, Dave R, Meyer LA,editors. Climate Change 2007:Mitigation Contribution ofWorking Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report ofthe Intergovernmental Panelon Climate Change.Cambridge University Press;2007.REFERENCESPhoto: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe110HEALTH

Kroeger et al, Black carbonemissions in Asia: sources,impacts and abatementopportunities, report preparedfor the US Agency forInternational Development'sRegional DevelopmentMission for Asia(USAID/RDMA), Bangkok,Thailand, April 2010.Metz B, Davidson OR, BoschPR, Dave R, Meyer LA (eds).Contribution of Working GroupIII to the Fourth AssessmentReport of theIntergovernmental Panel onClimate Change, CambridgeUniversity Press, 2007.Pruss-Ustun A, et al,Preventing disease throughhealthy environments, towardsan estimate of theenvironmental burden ofdisease (2004 update of globalstatistics. Annex 2 tables).Geneva, World HealthOrganization, 2009.Pruss-Ustun A, et al, Safer water, better health - Costs, benefits and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health. Geneva,World Health Organization,2008.Ramanathan V, Carmichael G.Global and regional climatechanges due to black carbon.Nature Geoscience. 2008;1:221-227.Remais J, Chen L, Seto, E.Leveraging rural energyinvestment for parasiticdisease control: shistosomeova inactivation and energy co-benefits of anaerobic digestorsin rural China. PLoSONE,March 2009; 4:3: e4856.Van den Ber, H. Reducingvector-borne disease byempowering farmers inintegrated vectormanagement. Bulletin of theWorld Health Organization,Vol. 85;7 (2007), pp. 561-566.Wilkinson P, et al., "Publichealth benefits of strategies toreduce greenhouse gasemissions, household energy."The Lancet, 374 (9705):1917-1929.Woodcock J, Edwards P,Tonne C, et al. "Public healthbenefits of strategies to reducegreenhouse-gas emissions:urban land transport." TheLancet. 2009 Dec5;374(9705):1930-43.Wright L, Fulton L. "ClimateChange Mitigation andTransport in DevelopingNations." Transport Reviews.2005;25(6):691-717.