Call for Sheffield people to eat less meat over climate fears

SHEFFIELD FLOODS     The Wicker flooded this evening.      26 June 2007
SHEFFIELD FLOODS The Wicker flooded this evening. 26 June 2007
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A new report says leaving global warming untackled could put Sheffield at risk of more floods, storms, heatwaves and severe cold weather,

The city’s director of public health, Dr Jeremy Wight, says in his annual report that average temperatures are already increasing.

The report to councillors, which makes 15 key recommendations to respond to climate change, added: “This in turn has the potential to threaten the availability of clean water supply and affordable food. The risk of disease is also increased.

“Changes at the global level have an impact on the sustainability of local resources and infrastructure.

“The most vulnerable in society are likely to be those most affected.”

This year’s report on the health of the city’s population focuses on climate change – what Dr Wight says is the ‘biggest public health challenge of the 21st century’.

It refers to the floods of summer 2007, when two people in South Yorkshire drowned, hundreds had to be rescued and more evacuated.

It said another study found mental health issues were higher among those whose homes were flooded and the topography of Sheffield meant rain from the Peak District was channelled into water courses constrained by building and development.

The report says action is needed both to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve health.

Increasing 20mph zones across the city, changing food purchasing arrangements and increasing the standard of home insulation in the rented sector are recommendations to the council. It is also asked to make sure health issues are built into local plans.

However, members of the public should be encouraged to travel by foot or bike, adopting at least one meat-free day a week.

Councillors will discuss the report at full council on Wednesday, December 3.