Carbon emissions to hit record levels in 2018

07 December, 2018, 12:00 | Author: Sidney Guerrero
  • Tackling climate change could save millions of lives, report says

The report points out that if the use of fossil fuels is reduced to tackle global warming, it would also alleviate air pollution and save many lives.

"According to the report, air pollution is a particularly acute problem in Asia, with an estimated 2.2 million premature deaths annually, accounting for approximately a third of the global total".

WHO said climate change will also affect drinking water supplies, the level of nutrients in staple foods such as rice, and the likelihood of natural disasters, while measures to curb it, like promoting cycling over driving, have proven health benefits. "Actions to meet the Paris goals would cost around 1 percent of global GDP", the report said. "The evidence is clear that climate change is already having a serious impact on human lives and health".

"The true cost of climate change is felt in our hospitals and in our lungs".

In a report released at the United Nations climate summit in Poland, WHO said the savings on health expenditure will far outweigh the cost of tackling global warming.

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Health gains resulting from action to curb climate change - from adopting renewable energy to getting people out of cars and onto bicycles - would add up to about twice the cost of rolling out those policies globally, and even more in China and India, the WHO said, citing a recent study. "The health burden of polluting energy sources is now so high, that moving to cleaner and more sustainable choices for energy supply, transport and food systems effectively pays for itself", says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health.

WHO scientist and report author Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum said health had often been disconnected from discussions on climate change, but there was now an urgent need to break down the barriers and talk about the benefits for society.

Switching to low-carbon energy sources will not only improve air quality but provide additional opportunities for immediate health benefits.

The report titled "Compilation and Synthesis" highlights that since 2010, emissions by these countries have decreased by 4.4 per cent, likely due in part to climate actions that more than offset the impact of economic and population growth.

In comparison, keeping warming to the Paris deal temperature limits would require investing about 1 percent of global GDP. It also urges them to include specific commitments to reduce emissions of air pollutants in their national pledges in the Paris climate accord.

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