The FPH welcomes climate change being placed at the heart of decision making as part of Welsh Government’s response to the Roads Review on 14th February and the potential this has to maximise the population health benefits of climate action.
Policies that reduce carbon emissions, support a shift to active travel and improve community connectedness will in turn lead to a number of direct and indirect benefits to physical and mental health, including through improved air quality, higher levels of physical activity and increased social capital.
Ongoing advocacy around the climate and ecological crises is at the core of the FPH’s mission, not only because of the dire consequences of climate change on population health - particularly for the most vulnerable at national and global levels - but also because adaptation and mitigation strategies have many health co-benefits. Economic and social policies to tackle the climate emergency will also substantially improve population health. If appropriately implemented, these strategies have the potential to reduce health inequalities by ensuring that support is commensurate to need and placing equity and sustainability at the heart of policy.
The FPH is committed to tackling climate change as a global public health threat, with an established Climate and Health Committee which co-ordinates and leads the FPH’s response to this urgent issue. As a credible and respected voice on the health impacts of the climate and ecological emergencies, FPH is in a unique position to advise on strategies to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of current and future generations.
FPH urges governments to adopt the following recommendations:
Implement measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions. FPH urges governments to take immediate action to limit global warming to 1.5°C, by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies; shifting to low-carbon transport systems (e.g. active travel, public transport, and zero emissions vehicles); and transitioning to sustainable, affordable plant-based diets.
Embed consideration of the impact of climate change on health in all policies and reinforce co-benefits of mitigation and adaptation strategies, so that action on climate change protects both planetary and population health. It is our responsibility to enable everyone worldwide to live a healthy and fulfilling life within planetary boundaries to avoid compromising the lives of future generations.
Increase access to green and blue space for health and wellbeing, and support measures to increase biodiversity. The climate emergency is further compounded by an ecological emergency. FPH calls on governments to take action to protect, preserve and recover our ecosystems both nationally and internationally.