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Is climate change the greatest threat to global health?

Papworth, A; Maslin, M; Randalls, S; (2015) Is climate change the greatest threat to global health? Geographical Journal , 181 (4) pp. 413-422. 10.1111/geoj.12127. Green open access

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Abstract

This commentary critically engages with the argument that climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the twenty-first century. A review of climate-health examples suggests that although it is important to be aware of the risk that climate change presents, health status is caused and mediated by multiple exposures. The current evidence suggests the impact of climate change over the next 30 years is not going to be catastrophic for health, and positioning it as the greatest threat - instead of other important factors such as poverty and health inequalities - could obscure the potential of current global health measures and reduce focus on other health risks such as non-communicable diseases and HIV/AIDS. Although climate change mitigation is vitally important to reduce far-future harm, the policymaking community should focus on current interventions that reduce populations' exposure to climate change, boost populations' ability to adapt, and reduce health inequalities.

Type: Article
Title: Is climate change the greatest threat to global health?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/geoj.12127
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12127
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. The Geographical Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Global health; climate change; adaptation; mitigation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1459885
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