Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 14 (5)

Assessing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Health Co-Benefits: A Structured Review of Lifestyle-Related Climate Change Mitigation Strategies

Affiliations
Review

Assessing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Health Co-Benefits: A Structured Review of Lifestyle-Related Climate Change Mitigation Strategies

Vivian G M Quam et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health.

Abstract

This is the first structured review to identify and summarize research on lifestyle choices that improve health and have the greatest potential to mitigate climate change. Two literature searches were conducted on: (1) active transport health co-benefits, and (2) dietary health co-benefits. Articles needed to quantify both greenhouse gas emissions and health or nutrition outcomes resulting from active transport or diet changes. A data extraction tool (PRISMA) was created for article selection and evaluation. A rubric was devised to assess the biases, limitations and uncertainties of included articles. For active transport 790 articles were retrieved, nine meeting the inclusion criteria. For diet 2524 articles were retrieved, 23 meeting the inclusion criteria. A total of 31 articles were reviewed and assessed using the rubric, as one article met the inclusion criteria for both active transport and diet co-benefits. Methods used to estimate the effect of diet or active transport modification vary greatly precluding meta-analysis. The scale of impact on health and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) outcomes depends predominately on the aggressiveness of the diet or active transport scenario modelled, versus the modelling technique. Effective mitigation policies, infrastructure that supports active transport and low GHGE food delivery, plus community engagement are integral in achieving optimal health and GHGE outcomes. Variation in culture, nutritional and health status, plus geographic density will determine which mitigation scenario(s) best suit individual communities.

Keywords: active transport; climate change mitigation; co-benefits; diet.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Identification and inclusion of relevant articles; GS = Google Scholar.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Aggregated health rubric scores by health outcome measure. The area of each circle denotes the number of articles represented at each rubric score (vertical axis), within the health outcome (horizontal axis). Note: As some articles included multiple measures (i.e., mortality and morbidity), their health scores are reported in all relevant categories.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 5 PubMed Central articles

References

    1. An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development. [(accessed on 18 August 2015)]; Available online: http://unsdsn.org/resources/goals-and-targets/
    1. IPCC . Summary for policymakers. In: Field C.B., Barros V.R., Dokken D.J., Mach K.J., Mastrandrea M.D., Bilir T.E., Chatterjee M., Ebi K.L., Estrada Y.O., Genova R.C., et al., editors. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, UK: New York, NY, USA: 2014. pp. 1–32.
    1. Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. [(accessed on 18 August 2015)]; Available online: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/sources.html.
    1. IPCC . Summary for Policymakers. In: Pichs-Madruga O.R., Sokona Y., Farahani E., Kadner S., Seyboth K., Adler A., Baum I., Brunner S., Eickemeier P., Kriemann B., et al., editors. Climate Change 2014, Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, UK: New York, NY, USA: 2014.
    1. Whitmarsh L., Seyfang G., O’Neill S. Public engagement with carbon and climate change: To what extent is the public “carbon capable”? Glob. Environ. Chang. 2011;21:56–65. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.07.011. - DOI
Feedback