Be the first to like this
Climate change is an urgent challenge that requires action at the national, regional and local levels. However, a perception that impacts on human wellbeing and the economy will only be felt in the distant future, and a belief that climate action would require reducing attention towards a host of other environmental and society issues, stand in the way of action. With cities emerging as key actors on climate change as well as other societal and environmental issues, this work provides a review of the ways urban climate action provides direct and more immediate benefits – in climate terms, ‘co-benefits’ – to public health. We focus on the impacts of five key transport policy measures which have been established to yield significant greenhouse gas reductions and substantial economic benefits. These are: (1) compact land use planning to reduce motorised passenger travel demand, (2) passenger modal shift and improving transit efficiency, (3) electrification and passenger vehicle efficiency, (4) freight logistics and (5) freight vehicle efficiency and electrification. We show that these measures have great potential to improve public health in urban areas whilst mitigating climate change, and provide arguments that in some cases these benefits may rival, or exceed, benefits to the economy and climate from these actions. We conclude that climate change action in the transport sector represents a great opportunity for policymakers to develop transport roadmaps that jointly achieve climate change objectives and improve public health in cities.