Climate change is the most pressing concern and threat to people’s health, the World Health Organization said in a report released on Monday, adding that rising temperatures have caused global health reforms and prompting global leaders to take action over the past 50 years. threatened to undo.
Climate change has already put the safety and health of people at risk around the world, with the WHO reporting an increase in dangerous weather events such as heat waves and hurricanes, food system disruptions, an increase in disease and a rise in mental health issues. Referring to.
According to the report, these climate-sensitive risks disproportionately affect the world’s disadvantaged populations, and threaten to reverse progress made over the past five decades to improve global health and fight poverty.
To avoid catastrophe, world temperatures must be limited to no more than 1.5 °C, the degree outlined in the Paris Agreement, and that even an additional tenth of a degree warmer “will take a serious toll on people’s lives.” and health,” as per the WHO report.
WHO calls on leaders to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in green policy as countries emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, eliminating all fossil fuel subsidies and promoting public health across all levels of public policy. keep in mind.
Many efforts mitigating climate change also have positive health benefits, the WHO reported: cycling and walking instead of driving reduces emissions and leads to more physical activity, while creating more urban green space air pollution. and creates more space for residents to exercise and de stress.
WHO also recommends that people adopt a plant-based diet, which, in addition to being more nutritious, could significantly reduce global emissions and result in a more resilient food system that could prevent 5 million dietary deaths annually. can stop.
The report was released ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, which begins at the end of the month in Glasgow, Scotland. It was originally scheduled to be held in November last year but was pushed back amid a rise in coronavirus cases across the world. The participating countries are set to share progress and new goals to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement, but critics say they doubt the summit will be effective. At a rally in Italy earlier this month, environmental activist Greta Thunberg said politicians dealing with climate change policy “are pretending they have a solution to the climate crisis and that they are taking enough action, but we see through their lies“
According to the WHO, environmental exposures such as air pollution are associated with 13.7 million deaths per year, or nearly one in four global deaths. Last week, the United Nations officially recognized a “safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment” as a fundamental human right. Countries such as the US and UK initially opposed the proposal, which was proposed by countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change, such as Fiji and the Maldives.
The United Nations has officially recognized a safe, sustainable environment as a human right (Businesshala)