Heat-related deaths increased by 68 percent between 2000-2004 and 2017-2021, while vulnerable populations — the elderly and children under one year of age — were exposed to 3.7 billion more hot days in 2021 than annually in 1986-2005. , according to a global report.
The report, presented by Lancet Countdown, focuses on the health impacts of climate change amid the health, social and economic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, global energy and cost-of-living crises caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and continued over-reliance on fossil fuels. fuels
While floods in Australia, Brazil, China, Malaysia, Pakistan and other countries caused thousands of deaths, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and caused billions of dollars in economic losses, forest fires caused devastation in countries such as Greece, Algeria, Italy, Spain. and record temperatures were recorded in many countries, according to the report.
According to the report, extreme weather events caused $253 billion in damage in 2021, particularly burdening people in low human development index (HDI) countries, where almost none of the losses were insured.
Food security was affected by climate change as higher temperatures threatened crops directly with maize growing seasons on average nine days shorter in 2020 and winter wheat and spring wheat growing seasons six days shorter than for 1981-2010 globally, it said.
Health systems are the first line of defense in an atmosphere where health impacts from climate change are worsening and compounding other coexisting crises. However, just as the need for health care increases, health systems are weakened by the effects of the pandemic and cost of living crises.
Urgent action is therefore needed to strengthen health system resilience to prevent rapidly increasing loss of life and prevent suffering in a changing climate.
In 2022, while marking the 30th anniversary of the signing of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries agreed to prevent dangerous anthropogenic climate change and its harmful effects on human health and well-being.
However, according to the Lancet report, this was followed by little meaningful action.
Dependence on fossil fuels not only undermines global health through increased effects of climate change, but also affects human health and well-being directly, through volatile and unpredictable fossil fuel markets, fragile supply chains and geopolitical conflicts, it said.
In low HDI countries, only 1.4 percent of their electricity came from modern renewables, that is, wind and solar energy in 2020. An estimated 59 percent of health facilities in low and middle income countries still do not have access to the reliable electricity needed. provide basic care.
On the other hand, oil and gas companies, the report said, are recording record profits, even as their production strategies continue to undermine people’s lives and well-being.
The world’s largest oil and gas companies, as of February 2022, are understood to be exceeding their share of emissions consistent with 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by 37 percent in 2030 and 103 percent in 2040, continuing to undermine decarbonization efforts, it. said
Making matters worse, governments continue to incentivize fossil fuel production and consumption, the report said.
At the same time, countries have not met their commitment to mobilize the considerably lower amount of USD 100 billion annually by 2020 as agreed at the Copenhagen Accord of 2009 to support climate action in “developing countries” and climate efforts are being undermined by a deep lack of funding. , it said.
The Lancet Countdown indicators, after 30 years of UNFCCC negotiations, show that countries and companies continue to make choices that threaten the health and survival of people in all parts of the world.
At this critical moment, the report said, an immediate, health-centered response can still ensure a future in which the world’s population can not only survive, but also thrive.
Weighing the health impacts of climate action, Lancet Countdown presented this report to help countries realize the ambition to make the Paris Agreement the ”most important public health agreement of the century”.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)