Senior health researchers are calling on the Government to halve New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions, saying climate change is a serious health issue.
In an article published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on Friday, the Climate and Health Group argues health professionals must lead the debate on climate change and inaction would be malpractice on a global scale.
One of the article's authors, Phillipa Howden-Chapman from Otago University, says in the next century rising temperatures and sea levels will have major health impacts.
She says climate change will cause an increase in infectious diseases, storm-surges, heat waves, bushfires and flooding.
Professor Chapman says some ways of addressing climate change, such as walking and cycling more, can also have health benefits to individuals.