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Climate change is impacting our lives more than we think. The most obvious health impact of a warming climate is, of course, more dangers from extreme heat, to which people with respiratory disease are vulnerable. The new Lancet Commission report has found that a well-established relationship between extreme high temperatures and human morbidity and mortality, adding that there’s strong evidence that such heat-related mortality is rising as a result of climate change impacts across a range of localities.

The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change is a scientific group maping out the impacts of climate change, and the necessary policy responses needed to ensure the highest attainable standards of health for populations worldwide. This Commission is multidisciplinary and international, with strong collaboration between academic centres in Europe and China.

The Lancet Commission has just published the following findings ahead of the COP meeting that will decide on climate change targets in Paris next December:

  1. The effects of climate change threaten to undermine the last half-century of gains in development and global health. The impacts are being felt today, and future projections represent an unacceptably high and potentially catastrophic risk to human health.
  2.  Tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.
  3. Achieving a decarbonised global economy and securing the public health benefits it offers is no longer primarily a technological or economic question – it is now a political one.
  4.  Climate change is fundamentally an issue of human health, and health professionals have a vital role to play in accelerating progress on mitigation and adaptation policies.

To help drive a transition to a low-carbon economy over the next five years, the Commission recommends that governments:

  1. Invest in climate change and public health research, monitoring, and surveillance
  2.  Scale-up financing for climate resilient health systems world-wide
  3. Protect cardiovascular and respiratory health by ensuring a rapid phase out of coal from the global energy mix
  4. Encourage a transition to cities that support and promote lifestyles that are healthy for the individual and for the planet
  5. Establish the framework for a strong, predictable, and international carbon pricing mechanism.
  6. Rapidly expand access to renewable energy in low-income and middle-income countries
  7. Support accurate quantification of the avoided burden of disease, reduced health-care costs, and enhanced economic productivity associated with a low-carbon economy
  8. Facilitate collaboration between Ministries of Health and other government departments, empowering health professionals and ensuring that health and climate considerations are thoroughly integrated in government-wide strategies
  9. Agree and implement an international agreement that supports countries in transitioning to a low-carbon economy
  10. To help drive this transition, the 2015 Lancet Commission will develop an independent Countdown to 2030: Global Health and Climate Action, designed to monitor progress on the implementation of climate change policies that promote health over the next 15 years.

To know more about the Lancet Commission please visit this page

If you wish more information about our efforts towards a healthier environment, please visit our section on air quality and chemicals

Tags: Category: News
Country: International
Theme: Air quality, Chemicals