This cross-sectoral Round Table will discuss how interventions for climate change and for health could support each other. Panellists will describe the contributions of anthropology to local and non-local processes while engaging the audience through posing questions to them.
Two Lancet Commissions on climate change and health have been published, the first suggesting that climate change is an immense health threat and the second suggesting that climate change is an immense health opportunity. Both presented top-down, international perspectives with limited anthropological and community-based input. Meanwhile, ethnographic work has identified local health impacts of climate change. Examples are mental health problems increasing in isolated Arctic communities as their environment changes and environmental health degradation leading to local food difficulties as low-lying island freshwater supplies become salinised. Both the second Lancet Commission and community-based work in affected locations have indicated not only how climate change has detrimental health impacts, but also how health interventions are suitable for addressing climate change and vice versa, yielding opportunities to address them simultaneously.
This session proposes a Round Table examining the connections amongst local and wider-scale approaches for linking health and climate change while using climate change as an opportunity to improve health and using health interventions to deal with climate change (applying to mitigation and adaptation). The Round Table would be cross-sectoral, with one representative each from academia, government (any level), a non-profit, private enterprise, and an affected community. Each panellist's task would be (i) answering the question "For you, how would interventions for climate change support health outcomes and vice versa?", (ii) describing how anthropological or ethnographic contributions support both community-based and large-scale processes for linking health and climate change, and (iii) posing a question on which the audience could advise.