Cycle to aid earth and health

"LOW carbon" behaviour, such as cycling to work, can be better for Australian's health than higher carbon intensive activities, a report by the Climate and Health Alliance said on Tuesday.

The report makes the link between healthy living practices and low-carbon emission activities by drawing on research from around the world.

Report author Fiona Armstrong said there was a big health dividend when changing behaviours to cut carbon emissions.

"Cleaner energy, cycling and walking, protecting bushland, energy-efficient buildings and low-carbon food choices all contribute to less chronic illnesses, including heart and lung disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes, and depression," she said.

"One recent global study, for instance, found that for every tonne of carbon dioxide they avoid, countries could save an average of $46 in health costs-around twice Australia's starting price for carbon."

The report said coal-fired power cost the nation about $2.6 billion in health costs associated with lung, heart and nervous system diseases each year.

Transport pollution also contributed another $3.3 billion each year to the national health bill, the report said.

Topics:  carbon footprint climate change environment health

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