Global Health & Environmental Change

It is becoming clearer how environmental changes in the future will affect people's health. Future socioeconomic development-driven improvements in global health, particularly for undernourishment and infectious diseases, will be undermined by the "climate change penalty." Long-term risks to health include several negative aspects of global environmental change. Models of the Earth System and our current understanding of how sensitive global health is to environmental determinants should both be used to guide policy decisions. At the local, national, and international levels, global environmental policy can inspire positive environmental actions. Prioritizing environmental initiatives that also benefit human health is important; the evidence for initiatives in the infrastructure, transportation, and energy sectors is currently very strong. Climate mitigation strategies can have significant health ‘co-benefits’ which will lessen the burden of chronic (non-communicable) diseases.