Environmental education and the health professions: Framing climate change as a health issue

William Adlong, Jennie Dietsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


The likelihood of adverse health impacts from climate change is high. Actions to reduce emissions, however, not only mitigate climate change but often have more immediate health co-benefits. One substantial co-benefit is gained through reductions of the high health costs of pollution from fossil fuel power stations, particularly coal. Evidence indicates that the combustion of coal for electricity is responsible for over 200,000 deaths globally per year. Reducing such deaths is a health co-benefit of greenhouse mitigation actions that promote renewable energy or energy efficiency. Together, health co-benefits of mitigation and the health risks of climate change strengthen the calls from climate action networks for cleaner energy production and for other initiatives to reduce greenhouse emissions. The purpose of this scholarly review is to highlight the value of reframing climate change as a health issue to environmental movements and to environmental education and environmental education research. The purpose is also to highlight the potential for further collaboration between formal and informal environmental educators/researchers and the health professions. Health professionals and health educators would bring new voices for climate action to public and policy discourse as well as facilitate mitigation in their organisations and communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-709
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Issue number5
Early online date2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

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