The politicians may not be talking much about climate change but fortunately many others are. Below are some recent publications to keep you up to date on the issue that will present one of our greatest health challenges.
This report from the Climate Commission updates us particularly on the progress of China and the United States,the world’s largest economies, in tackling climate change.
Key findings in the document include:
- China will begin introducing seven emissions trading schemes this year that cover a quarter of a billion people. A national trading scheme is planned, based on these models.
- China has emerged as the world’s renewable energy powerhouse, taking ambitious strides to add renewable energy to its mix. 2012 was another year of extraordinary growth:
- Between 2005 and 2012 China increased its wind power generation capacity by almost 50 times. The amount of electricity generated from wind in 2012 was about 36 per cent higher than in 2011.
- New solar power capacity expanded by 75% in 2012. Solar power capacity is expected to triple to more than 21,000 megawatts by 2015.
- In 2012 China invested US$65.1 billion in clean energy, 20% more than in 2011. This was unmatched by any nation and represented 30% of the entire G-20 nations’ investment in 2012.
- Emissions in the US have been declining. With continued efforts the US is on track to meet the national goal of reducing emissions by 17% on 2005 levels by 2020. Policy settings have made a contribution, as well as the impact of the economic downturn and a progressive shift away from coal to gas.
- Important foundations have been set that are likely to have a lasting impact in the coming decades, including:
- In January 2013 the world’s 9th largest economy, California, commenced an emissions trading scheme.
- More than half of US states now have policies to encourage renewable energy.
- In just four years, between 2008 and 2012, the US has nearly doubled its installed renewable energy capacity.
- US investment in renewable energy was US$35.6 billion in 2012, second only to China.
- The number of countries pricing carbon is increasing, with four new schemes starting so far this year. Emissions trading schemes are now operating in 35 countries and 13 states, provinces and cities. These 48 schemes, together with the 7 Chinese schemes, are expected to involve 880 million people and about 20% of global emissions.
In this NEJM article Anthony McMichael provides a structured analysis of the effects of globalization on population health and our current understanding of the effect climate change will have on human health.
He concludes by noting the role of the health sector in the considerable challenge that lies ahead “For populations to live sustainably and with good long-term health, the health sector must work with other sectors in reshaping how human societies plan, build, move, produce, consume, share, and generate energy”. Read the full article here.
The arts world is raising it’s voice against climate change. Climarte: arts for a safer climate has just been launched. “CLIMARTE harnesses the creative power of the Arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change”. Find out more.