WHO highlights the co-benefits for health of transport policies that mitigate climate change

WHO launched at the climate change summit in Durban a new report presenting the evidence on health co-benefits, and risks, of climate change mitigation strategies for transport, as reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007.

Cycling, walking and rapid transit systems are associated with a wide range of potential health benefits that climate assessment needs to consider more systematically. Health benefits may include: physical activity from walking and cycling, which can help prevent heart disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and some obesity-related risks; lower urban air pollution concentrations; lower rates of traffic injury risks for users of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian networks; and less noise stress.

Low-carbon transport can also help bridge the global health and equity divide by helping improve access for vulnerable groups, including children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and lower wage earners.

In the European Region, WHO is promoting climate change mitigation strategies for transport within the Framework for Action on climate change and the pan-European programme on transport, health and environment (THE PEP).