The role of health co-benefits in the development of climate change mitigation policies in Australia, the European Union, China and the United States
Governments are yet to commit to action on climate change commensurate to the likelihood and severity of predicted impacts. The human health consequences of a changing climate are substantial, already being felt and will be exacerbated without ambitious and urgent action. Acting to mitigate climate change can result in ancillary benefits – or co-benefits. Numerous studies have estimated the monetised value of a range of health co-benefits that may result from the implementation of mitigation measures. Health co-benefits can partially, if not fully, offset abatement costs, providing a strong economic rationale for ambitious climate action. Research investigating the role of health co-benefits in the development of climate change mitigation policies is limited. To address this gap, I developed case studies for Australia and the European Union and analysed Chinese and American climate change policy documents to examine whether health co-benefits are considered in the development of climate change mitigation policies. I identified barriers to the consideration of health co-benefits as well as opportunities to enhance their role, and gained insights about health and the policy development process that may be useful in promoting the development of comparatively ambitious climate change mitigation policies.
Annabelle Workman completed her undergraduate degree at Melbourne, majoring in Politics and Chinese. In her Honours year, she investigated China's environmental policies in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics. After completing her studies, Annabelle worked at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for five years. In 2014, Annabelle completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Environments (Public Health). She began her PhD in 2015, supported by the Australian-German Climate and Energy College and the EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges. She is exploring the role of health co-benefits in the development of climate change mitigation policies in Australia, the EU, China and the U.S.
PhD Project: The role of health co-benefits in the development of national climate change mitigation policies
Annabelle’s PhD project aims to expand on current climate and health knowledge by investigating how predicted health outcomes from the implementation of mitigation measures (often termed health co-benefits and co-harms) are considered and accounted for in the development of national climate change mitigation policy. She will be building case studies for Australia, China and the European Union in order to understand what factors influence the extent to which health co-benefits are integrated into national climate change mitigation policies.
Supervisors: Prof. David Karoly, Prof. John Wiseman, A/Prof. Grant Blashki
Start Date: February 2015