A Health-centred Systems Approach towards Net-Zero: Transforming regional climate mitigation policies (Heal-NZ)


  • Prof Zongbo Shi

    University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Project summary

Net-Zero policies have multiple and complex impacts across socio-environmental systems, with implications on health. A new policy approach which links Net-Zero considerations with socio-environmental impacts (e.g., air quality, physical activity), and expresses both in terms of optimal health outcomes - rather than legal compliance - can deliver the best outcomes. The overall aim of Heal-NZ is to transform regional Net-Zero policy solutions by adopting a health-centred systems approach. Heal-NZ is co-designed with West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), local authorities, Defra, and community stakeholders to address three "live" policies in the WM - Decarbonising regional transport - Net Zero Neighbourhoods - Energy innovation Heal-NZ will first develop a new toolkit (Climate-LAT) integrating environmental exposure modelling, health / economic modelling and participatory systems mapping tools. We will apply this tool to the West Midlands as an exemplar to demonstrate the wider benefits of health-centred systems approach to Net-Zero policies. The Heal-NZ team, supported by two full-time researchers embedded in policy organisations, will integrate science evidence from observations, modelling, and public involvement into systems maps, and translate this evidence into policy domains. With the new toolkit and science evidence, the Heal-NZ team, particularly policymakers, will directly contribute to regional Net-Zero policy decisions, delivering transformative impacts.