Health in the Green Economy
Health co-benefits of climate change mitigation- Housing sector
World Health Organization 2011
Available online PDF file [136p.] at http://bit.ly/kx7JJA
“……Evaluation of the health impacts of climate mitigation strategies is critical to informed decisions that will attain the greatest combined gain for health, well-being and sustainable development.
This report considers the scientific evidence regarding possible health gains and, where relevant, health risks of climate change mitigation measures in the residential housing sector. The report is one in a Health in the Green Economy series led by WHO’s Department of Public Health and Environment. Other reports in the series focus on transport, household energy in developing countries, agriculture and health care facilities.
The report documents how certain mitigation options can yield substantial co-benefits to health. Some choices, however, may be better than others in terms of health impacts, or reducing health risks. New and sometimes overlooked opportunities are also examined where health gains and sustainability objectives can be mutually reinforcing.
These findings have a two-fold relevance.
For the health community, they represent a major opportunity to promote “primary prevention” by informing policy-makers and the public about how better health can be obtained from economic investments in housing.
Also, evaluation of health impacts touches to the core of a debate that has stalled climate change negotiations – the debate about who ‘gains’ – and who might ‘lose’. Looking at health co-benefits creates a different paradigm – one that is ‘win-win’ for most people, and for the planet.
In fact, there is good evidence that many climate mitigation strategies can yield both immediate and more sustained global public health benefits – in rich and poor societies, temperate or tropical, urban and rural.
Often these health benefits can be derived at comparatively low cost – and at almost no cost to resource-strapped health services – but rather through more careful, strategic, and health-focused development investments….”
1 Overview of housing and climate /environment linkages .
1.1 How housing contributes to climate change
1.2 Trends in developed versus developing countries
1.3 Housing density and urban design as factors in GHG emissions
1.4 Slums and their environmental/climate change impacts
1.5 Regional climate-related impacts on housing environments
2 Review of housing and health risks
2.1 A framework for understanding health risks in housing
2.2 Environmental health risks
2.3 Diseases and injuries
3 Evaluating health co -benefits and risks of IPCC-reviewed mitigation strategies .
3.1 Methods of analysis
3.2 Scope of mitigation issues considered
3.3 Limitations of the analysis .
3.4 Thermal envelope
3.5 Heating systems .
3.6 Cooling loads
3.7 Whole-building heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) and space/unit air conditioners
3.8 Passive and photovoltaic solar energy
3.9 Lighting and day lighting
3.10 Household appliances and electronics .
4 Gap analysis : Optimizing health benefits and correcting risks of mitigation strategies .
4.1 Health co-benefits and risks of IPCC-reviewed mitigation measures
4.2 Neglected co-benefit opportunities: healthy urban design
4.3 Addressing housing and health inequities with mitigation strategies .
4.4 Occupational health – risks and exposures to construction and building renovation workers
4.5 Behavioural change: factors that promote or confound strategies
5 Tools to assess , plan and finance healthy and climate –friendly housing .
6 Case studies of good practice .
7 Conclusions and recommendations .
7.1 Largest health co-benefit opportunities .
7.2 Health risks to be avoided
7.3 Gaps in current mitigation analysis
7.4 Implementing win-win health, housing and climate change strategies
7.5 Regulatory frameworks
7.6 Climate finance for health
7.7 Building community capacity
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