Tim Chambers, Simon Hales, Jude Ball, Michael Baker, Cristina Cleghorn, Nick Wilson (*Author details)
The Climate Change Commission’s final advice to the Government has been tabled in Parliament. This final report further acknowledged the potential health co-benefits of climate action presented in the Commission’s draft advice. However, the Commission has excluded these health co-benefits from its economic analyses, which currently predict a reduction in GDP of 0.2-1.0% in 2035 and 0.3-0.7% in 2050. Thus, the Commission’s final advice inadequately accounts for the financial benefits of reduced air and water pollution, increased active transport, improved housing and improved diets that could potentially result in net long-term savings to society from responding to climate change.
Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker
The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big ticket items to include in an integrated strategy to improve our waterways: a fertiliser tax, taxing ruminant animal products, and promoting the right sort of reforestation with a high carbon price.
Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker
Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural importance and food security); (5) facilitating safe recreational water use; (6) minimising flooding risks from silted up waterways; and (7) protecting renewable energy from waterway sediments. In this blog we briefly consider these issues and why health workers and agencies should now do submissions on protecting waterways to the Ministry for the Environment, as part of a current consultation process which ends on 31 October.
Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Richard Edwards, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Caroline Shaw, A/Prof Ralph Chapman, Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman
The health organisation OraTaiao convened a group of experts to analyse the climate change policies of NZ political party policies. It gave the highest grade to the Green Party, then the Labour Party, and then The Opportunities Party (TOP). This blog takes a supplementary approach, looking at actual climate related actions taken in the last Parliamentary term (since late 2014). It suggests that relative to its power in the Parliament, the Green Party has done the best. The National Party has an overall poor performance grading – given the many opportunities it has had in Government.
Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan
Building insulation provides comfort and health benefits to occupants, saves energy, enhances energy security, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This blog looks at these issues and wonders why the NZ Government is not doing more to enhance building performance and insulation standards when it is such a good investment.