Taking public transport, walking and cycling more can contribute to better health, cleaner air and lower emissions. It’s a win-win-win!
Globally, air pollution kills 1.34 million people each year. In Australia, it is estimated that more people die from exposure to air pollution every year than on our roads. The 2012 OECD Environmental Outlook report suggests that without policy action, air pollution will become the biggest cause of environmentally-related deaths worldwide by 2050.
Motor vehicle-related air pollution is believed to be responsible for thousands of cases of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and bronchitis each year in Australia.
But there is so much we can do and it’s pretty simple too!
There is much to gain from changes to how we travel day to day. Reducing our reliance
on private vehicles and increasing the number of trips taken by active transport such as walking, and cycling offer substantial opportunities to improve health. Getting out of your car can improve health as it increases your physical activity and reduces your risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, as well has help prevent dementia and depression. Active transport can lead to less deaths and injuries from road trauma, and by getting out and about in the community, can help reduce social isolation.
Air pollution is a real problem but changing the way we move could lead to a reduction in illnesses and deaths from air pollution and improve our mental health – and reduce carbon emissions at the same time.
For more information, see the CAHA and Climate Institute report, Our Uncashed Dividend: The Health Benefits of Climate Action.
Have a story to tell? Get in touch and join Generation Yes. Support this approach and share how you’ve made the transition to public and active transport options.
Spread the word about the generation changing climate change.
To get involved in Climate and Health, visit the Climate and Health Alliance.