Health and Environment Alliance

Reducing greenhouse emissions could cut global disease burden by 25% - WHO

0

Source: Health and Environment Alliance

The World Health Organisation urged policy makers to consider the serious implications of climate change on health, at a conference in Copenhagen on 10-12 March. Speaking at the conference - Climate Change Global Risks, Challenges, and Decisions - the World Health Organisation (WHO) argued that improving environmental conditions could help reduce the global disease burden by more than 25%. Currently, WHO has estimated that about 150 000 people die each year in poor countries from the top four climate related problems - crop failure and malnutrition, diarrhoeal disease, malaria, and flooding. The speakers warned that climate change will affect all elements of life as we know it - increased risks of extreme weather events will effect directly the prevalence of infectious disease, and rises in sea level will lead to salinisation of land and water sources.

Much of the current burden is linked to energy consumption and transport systems - it is these systems that require changing, and in so doing they could reduce public health problems. The WHO team, speaking at the conference, said they wished to increase awareness of the co-benefits for health brought by reductions in greenhouse gases in all sectors, such as transport, housing, energy, and agriculture, and at all levels. They argued that a cut in emissions of greenhouse gases would improve environmental conditions and health and reduce the global disease burden by more than 25%.

Those at greatest risk to climate related health disorders are the poor and the geographically vulnerable. WHO representatives called for greater global awareness of the health benefits from the reductions in greenhouse gases. Health policy makers must factor climate change into their activities to cut the burden of global disease.

Customer comments

No comments were found for Reducing greenhouse emissions could cut global disease burden by 25% - WHO. Be the first to comment!