Document / Publication
Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi
This report summarises the human health impacts of climate change in New Zealand. Direct effects from climate change include increased exposure to heat waves and weather events, flooding and fires. Indirect environmental effects from climate change include increased exposure to microbial contamination, pollen, particulate air pollutants and carriers of new diseases. Indirect social effects from climate change include disruption to health services, social and economic factors including migration, housing and livelihood stresses, food security, socioeconomic deprivation and health inequality.
Well-designed policies to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions will not only limit climate change and reduce the associated risks to human health, but have the potential to improve population health and reduce health inequalities. More research is needed to better quantify the health impacts of climate change for New Zealand in the short, medium and long term, particularly where impacts are indirect.