Health Promoting Responses to Climate Change
Climate change and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) share a mutual theme—excessive energy use. This suggests opportunities for mutual solutions; interventions that reduce both greenhouse emissions and simultaneously lower the risk of NCDs (e.g. getting people out of their car is beneficial for their carbon footprint, as well as their health). This collaborative network of researchers, with strengths from both climate change and public health, works to identify priorities for climate change-NCD research. This research group focuses on two modifiable factors that have a clear impact globally on public health and environmental sustainability: people’s physical activity and diet. Our central research question is: What are potential effective interventions to reduce individual carbon footprints but prevent NCDs? To answer this question, good quality individual data is required. Increasingly powerful technologies, such as smartphones and embedded wireless sensors requiring minimal data input from participants, can now provide a platform to collect and estimate individual carbon footprints. This data will be used for analysis and to encourage behaviour change aimed at reducing people’s carbon footprint and positively impacting their health.