Global warming: epidemics, heat waves, inequalities … an alert report on the effects on health

the essential This Thursday 21 October, the scientific journal The Lancet published its annual report “Countdown”. Researchers are warning of the urgent need to integrate the fight against global warming into post-Covid recovery plans – 19 around the world.

Global warming has an impact on health. In its sixth annual “Countdown” report published this Thursday 21, the scientific journal The Lancet, taken over by franceinfo, warns of the urgency of take into account the ecological transition to “remedy global inequalities in health and build a sustainable future”.

Researchers from 38 academic institutions and United Nations agencies, who participated in the development of the report, call on governments around the world to integrate the fight against climate change in post-pandemic recovery plans. “They draw a gloomy outlook: global inequalities are increasing and the evolution of the situation is reflected in a deterioration of all health parameters” details the report. The Lancet studied, ten days before the COP 26, 44 indicators.

“Climate change is here”

First, the report highlights the ideal conditions for transmissions of infectious diseases created by climate change and its factors. “Climate change is here and we are already seeing it affecting human health around the world,” warns Anthony Costello, executive director of the “Lancet” Countdown. According to the report, there was also a risk of drought, fires and lack of food. Adults over 65 years were affected by 3.1 billion additional days of heatwave exposure in 2020, franceinfo says . The multiplication of drought episodes jeopardizes access to water and food security and increases the risk of fires and exposure to pollutants.

The Paris agreement aims to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees above the pre-industrial level. But post-Covid stimulus plans would not go in this direction, according to The Lancet. “It is estimated that less than one in five dollars spent on the Covid stimulus will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the overall impact is likely to be negative. We are recovering from a health crisis in a way that puts our health in danger “explains Marina Romanello, research director at The Lancet Countdown.

“This pivotal moment of economic recovery represents a historic opportunity to ensure the health of current and future generations,” the authors finally wrote. Currently, trillions of dollars are committed to revive the economies of countries, after a crisis that has greatly affected them. The report calls for its public spending to be used in the fight to reduce health inequalities in the face of climate change. “The good news is that the considerable efforts that countries are making to revive their economies after the pandemic can be directed in a way that simultaneously responds to climate change and Covid. We have a choice,” detailed Anthony Costello.

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