253585 Introduction - background and main findings from the WHO Health in the Green Economy analysis

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:30 AM

Carlos Dora, MD, MsC, PhD , Public Health and the Environment, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
This introductory presentation describes the rationale, methods and analysis underlining the "health in the green economy" series which provides the analytical framework for this session. The series considers climate change mitigation measures as reviewed in Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007), including those relevant to housing, transport and health care facilities. The IPCC report was selected as representing the broadest available global scientific consensus about feasible strategies for sustainable development. IPCC-identified strategies were then assessed in terms of evidence regarding their potential to impact health using a Health Impact Assessment framework. Three aspects of health impact are considered: 1) prevention of environmentally specific disease/injury outcomes, 2) reduction of specific environmental health risks, and/or 3) impacts on health equity. Evidence considered has included a broad range of epidemiological studies and scenario modelling from health-oriented literature. "Best buys" for core community environmental health/preventive health interventions are identified in this session as emerging from the review. Comparative analysis also illustrates how some 'green' policies may yield better health outcomes than others. Needs for further assessment as well as limitations of the analysis also are discussed. The presentation illustrates how good environmental design of housing, transport and health care facilities can be regarded as a "core" community health interventions, with significant disease prevention potential, both in developed economies such as the USA, as well as in developing world settings. The session will outline the methods and tools that can be used to provide health accountability for economic decisions such as those being made to green the economy, highlighting a key role for public health professionals.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the rationale for assessing the public health impacts of development policies. Describe an analytic framework, methods and tools for conduct of such analysis. Identify/discuss key findings for the key economic sectors that were considered in the recent WHO "Health in the Green Economy" review.

Keywords: Environmental Health, Economic Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical epidemiologist and expert on health policy as it applies to many sectors, and work internationally at the World Health Organization. I work on transport and energy policies, and strengthening governance mechanisms and national systems to manage environment health risks e.g., climate change.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.