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The Role of Health Co-Benefits in the Development of Australian Climate Change Mitigation Policies

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Reducing domestic carbon dioxide and other associated emissions can lead to short-term, localized health benefits. Quantifying and incorporating these health co-benefits into the development of national climate change mitigation policies may facilitate the adoption of stronger policies. There is, however, a dearth of research exploring the role of health co-benefits on the development of such policies. To address this knowledge gap, research was conducted in Australia involving the analysis of several data sources, including interviews carried out with Australian federal government employees directly involved in the development of mitigation policies. The resulting case study determined that, in Australia, health co-benefits play a minimal role in the development of climate change mitigation policies. Several factors influence the extent to which health co-benefits inform the development of mitigation policies. Understanding these factors may help to increase the political utility of future health co-benefits studies.

No MeSH data available.


Modified from Walt and Gilson’s model for health policy analysis.
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ijerph-13-00927-f001: Modified from Walt and Gilson’s model for health policy analysis.

Mentions: Theoretically, we situate this research within the political economy of health, which provides a robust framework in which to explore health within the climate change agenda. Health is inherently political in nature given “power is exercised over it as part of a wider economic, social and political system” [22] (p. 187). The political economy of health framework contends that both good and ill health are a “result of social, political, and economic structures and relations” [23] (p. 134) that can be easily overlooked given health is often defined in a functional and individualistic manner [24] (pp. 34–35). To support the application of this theoretical framework, a complementary analytical framework was identified and used to inform the research project. A previous analysis of health factors in climate change policy has been undertaken by Morrow and Bowen [25] who investigated the consideration of health in Fijian climate change policies. In line with their approach, the development of this case study is underpinned by Walt and Gilson’s [26] policy analysis framework (see Figure 1).


The Role of Health Co-Benefits in the Development of Australian Climate Change Mitigation Policies
Modified from Walt and Gilson’s model for health policy analysis.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5036760&req=5

ijerph-13-00927-f001: Modified from Walt and Gilson’s model for health policy analysis.
Mentions: Theoretically, we situate this research within the political economy of health, which provides a robust framework in which to explore health within the climate change agenda. Health is inherently political in nature given “power is exercised over it as part of a wider economic, social and political system” [22] (p. 187). The political economy of health framework contends that both good and ill health are a “result of social, political, and economic structures and relations” [23] (p. 134) that can be easily overlooked given health is often defined in a functional and individualistic manner [24] (pp. 34–35). To support the application of this theoretical framework, a complementary analytical framework was identified and used to inform the research project. A previous analysis of health factors in climate change policy has been undertaken by Morrow and Bowen [25] who investigated the consideration of health in Fijian climate change policies. In line with their approach, the development of this case study is underpinned by Walt and Gilson’s [26] policy analysis framework (see Figure 1).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Reducing domestic carbon dioxide and other associated emissions can lead to short-term, localized health benefits. Quantifying and incorporating these health co-benefits into the development of national climate change mitigation policies may facilitate the adoption of stronger policies. There is, however, a dearth of research exploring the role of health co-benefits on the development of such policies. To address this knowledge gap, research was conducted in Australia involving the analysis of several data sources, including interviews carried out with Australian federal government employees directly involved in the development of mitigation policies. The resulting case study determined that, in Australia, health co-benefits play a minimal role in the development of climate change mitigation policies. Several factors influence the extent to which health co-benefits inform the development of mitigation policies. Understanding these factors may help to increase the political utility of future health co-benefits studies.

No MeSH data available.