Last year, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) asked us to answer the question: What research on climate change and public health still needs to be done and will be most helpful for local authorities?
We found very little research on the three themes, especially on the economic implications of local climate action. Research evidence on how to make climate action fair was also lacking. As a result, we don’t know:
So our recommendation to the NIHR is: invest in research to find this out. However, we will also point out that research alone is not enough. Adequate funding is needed to make local climate actions happen. Only then can local councils properly help their citizens to reduce their impact on climate change and protect their health from the effects of climate change.
We spoke to you about the impact of climate change on your life and health in general, about the role of local councils, and about the three top-ranked themes mentioned above. Hearing the opinions from all of you in our Public Involvement group was incredibly enriching. It made us realise just how difficult it is to make local climate change action clear, fair and relevant to different people. This made us more confident in our recommendations.
We have included a lot of detail from your contributions in our research report. This is to make sure that other researchers have the opportunity to learn from you as well.