Sunday, 5 November 2017
Countdown on health and climate change: Report of the Lancet Commission
In a freshly released Lancet Commission Report (published online 30 Oct. 2017), monitoring data on health impacts of climate change in the past 25 years are presented for 40 indicators identified in the earlier Lancet Commission of 2015. Some of the key findings of the report include 1) climate change and increasing global warming are affecting the health of the population, the vulnerable population in the LMICs are being affected disproportionately; 125 million more vulnerable people over the age of 65 years were exposed to heatwaves in 2016 than in 2000. This is effecting their earnings as data showed that Global labour capacity of rural dwellers such as farmers, has fallen by 5·3% from 2000 to 2016 due to rising temperatures and the inability to work when it's too hot. 2) most of the indicators tracked since the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, the adaptation and mitigation efforts have been quite slow, with increase in carbon emissions and global temperature and only modest improvement in reduction of carbon emission from electricity generation occurred due to continued burning of Coals (while coal use increased globally since 1990, it appears to have peaked in 2013 and is now declining due to decision by a growing number of countries have committed to ensuring coal is completely phased out over the next decade); a particularly severe heat wave in the summer of 2003 resulted in more than 70 000 excess deaths across Western Europe; air pollution from a range of sources contributed to over 1·9 million premature deaths across southeast Asia in 2015
With these few hopeful insights, the following recommendations are made for further accelerated progress: a) invest in climate change and public health research b) scale-up financing for climate-resilient health systems c) phase-out coal-fired power d) encourage a city-level low-carbon transition to reduce urban pollution e) rapidly expand access to renewable energy, unlocking the substantial economic gains available from this transition f) agree and implement an international treaty that facilitates the transition to a low-carbon economy g) Develop a new, independent collaboration to provide expertise in implementing policies that mitigate climate change and promote public health, and to monitor progress over the next 15 years.
To read the full report, pl visit: http://thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)32464-9/fulltext