A landmark new report published in the international medical journal The Lancet suggests: "Tackling climate change is the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century". This report provides comprehensive new evidence showing responses to mitigate and adapt to climate change have significant direct and indirect positive health benefits – from reducing air pollution to improving diet. It points out that making concerted efforts to tackle climate change is one of the greatest opportunities we have to improve global health.
The report updates and builds on the ground breaking UCL-Lancet Commission published in 2009 where climate change was first described as the “biggest global health threat of the 21st century”. Addressing climate change is important for rural health in Australia because people living in rural and remote areas are especially exposed to its economic and health effects.
This new report, however, emphasises the health opportunities from the mitigation and management of climate change effects.
There are also economic opportunities for rural and remote areas, and with its very broad approach to 'health', including in its social determinants, the NRHA is vitally interested in these. Further development of renewable energy is one good example. There are no high-rise buildings to block out the sun, and more opportunities for wave power and carbon sequestration in rural areas than the cities!