Neglected implications of land-use and land-cover changes on the climate-health nexus

Environ Res Lett. 2023 Jun 1;18(6):061005-61005. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/acd799. Epub 2023 Jun 2.


Climate change can substantially affect temperature-related mortality and morbidity, especially under high green-house gas emission pathways. Achieving the Paris Agreement goals require not only drastic reductions in fossil fuel-based emissions but also land-use and land-cover changes (LULCC), such as reforestation and afforestation. LULCC has been mainly analysed in the context of land-based mitigation and food security. However, growing scientific evidence shows that LULCC can also substantially alter climate through biogeophysical effects. Little is known about the consequential impacts on human health. LULCC-related impact research should broaden its scope by including the human health impacts. LULCC are relevant to several global agendas (i.e. Sustainable Development Goals). Thus, collaboration across research communities and stronger stakeholder engagement are required to address this knowledge gap.

Keywords: climate; human health; land use and land cover; mortality.