Tackling climate change will help prevent millions of deaths among people who are alive now and save the world for future generations, scientists said today.
The benefits of cutting greenhouse gases are widely believed to be far in the future.
But there are health gains from measures to tackle global warming — such as walking instead of taking the car, and eating less meat — which would be felt in this generation instead of being confined to future generations.
The series of papers, backed by the UK Department of Health and the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, are published by The Lancet.
For example, up to 7,000 deaths a year from heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and dementia could be saved in London by 2030 if policies were pursued to encourage active travel, such as walking and cycling, in place of car use.