Policy guidance for healthier, more equitable and environmentally sustainable societies: time to shift into high gear.
Brussels, 4 November 2019 — The problems are clear: chronic diseases are increasing, the environment and climate are under threat, and inequalities are on the rise, with disadvantaged populations likely to suffer most from ill-health and the negative effects of climate change.
But we have solutions. Integrated governance can help ensure that interconnected environmental, health, and equity issues are addressed cohesively. Participatory approaches allow citizens to engage with policymaking that affects their lives. Enabling and encouraging people to change behaviours is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of transitioning towards greater sustainability. Making sure that policy actions do not contribute to widening inequalities is not only just, it is also good for society as a whole.
Policymakers at European, national, regional, and local levels are crucial, and can take concrete actions to put these solutions into place.
Today marks the release of a series of policy briefs that provide guidance on how policymakers can promote environmental sustainability, health, and health equity, fostering a “triple-win”. The briefs focus on integrated governance, behaviour change, and health equity, and cover the areas of living, moving, and consuming. They include recommendations for action and set out concrete examples of what can and has been achieved in different contexts across Europe, highlighting possibilities for scaling-up. The briefs have been developed by the Horizon 2020 INHERIT research project(2016-2019).
In December, INHERIT will complement the policy briefs with a broader policy toolkit, which will build on and further develop these elements, as well as areas for further work including collaborating with the private sector, meaningful public engagement, and education and training for the triple-win, ensuring a more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable future, against the backdrop of the Sustainable Development Goals.