South Africa | Book Chapter: Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health in South Africa

2017.10.06 Climate Change and Air Pollution bookRico Euripidou of groundWork, the Healthy Energy Initiative’s partner in South Africa, co-authored a chapter on “Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health in South Africa,” in a recently published book on Climate Change and Air Pollution: The Impact on Human Health in Developed and Developing CountriesOther co-authors include members of the Public Health Association of South Africa’s Climate, Energy and Health (CEH) Special Interest Group.


Climate change and air pollution pose significant short-term and long-term health risks to South Africans due to the carbon intensity of the national economy, the severe air pollution around coal mining and coal-fired power stations in many widespread populated areas and the particular vulnerability of many subgroups in a country burdened by extreme inequality and a severe quadruple epidemic of acute and chronic disease.

There are limited local studies on the respiratory, cardiovascular and other health risks of air pollution. Inadequate disease surveillance and air quality data pose a challenge for monitoring and research.

A number of interventions to mitigate or adapt to climate change with important co-benefits for air quality and public health are described for the following economic sectors: energy, industry, human settlements, transport, healthcare and business sector.

There is good policy commitment to address climate change and air pollution, but implementation needs to be drastically improved.

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