Health and Climate Network Briefing 3: Transport Systems that Protect Climate and Health

Click here to read: HCN Briefing 3 Transport Systems that Protect Climate and Health

Health and Climate Network (HCN) Briefing 3: Transport Systems that Protect Climate and Health

This is the third in a series of HCN briefings presenting the link between climate action and health. This paper puts forward policies that can help tackle the climate crisis while also improving human health, allowing national governments to address two important challenges at the same time. Efforts to limit global heating to 1.5°C must go hand in hand with achieving fundamental health benefits.

Transport plays a critical role in trade, mobility, and access to goods, services, and employment, but it also impacts both the climate and our health. Transport accounts for 24% of direct CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use.  Road vehicles account for nearly three-quarters of transport CO2 emissions, but emissions from aviation and shipping continue to rise. Modern transport systems also contribute to ill health, including through air pollution, traffic injuries and deaths, personal safety, and health risks associated with physical inactivity.

Reshaping mobility with a focus on people and health will dramatically reduce these risks while increasing access to convenient, affordable transport and protecting the climate.

The briefing presents 3 recommendations for a transition towards more sustainable and healthy energy for all:

  1. Prioritise safe active and public transport in planning and infrastructure decisions to reduce emissions and increase health benefits.
  2. Invest in efficient and zero-carbon systems and technologies using the principles:
  • Avoid the need to travel.
  • Shift to more sustainable modes of transport.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of operations.
  1. Ensure that mobility solutions reduce inequities and benefit everyone.