“New Report Warns of Dire Health Impact of Climate Change
A new report, released in the medical journal The Lancet is an eye-opening warning to the world about the devastating impact of climate change on global health. Experts predict that heat-related deaths and food insecurity will dramatically increase by mid-century if immediate and comprehensive action isn’t taken to address the root causes of climate change. Marina Romanello, executive director of the Lancet Countdown, emphasized that climate change is already claiming lives and livelihoods in every corner of the world, and the current impacts could be just the beginning of a dangerous future.
Impact on Developing Countries
The Lancet Countdown’s report highlights that poorer countries will be hit the hardest by the growing health risks of climate change. The target to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels must be met to prevent a catastrophic increase in heat-related deaths and food insecurity. If temperatures rise by two degrees by the end of the century, yearly heat-related deaths are projected to increase by 370 per cent, and heat exposure will result in a 50 per cent increase in the hours of potential labour lost globally. The report also warns that more frequent heat waves could lead to around 525 million more people experiencing food insecurity by 2041-2060, exacerbating the risk of malnutrition.
Call to Action
Experts emphasize the urgent need to provide funding and support to help developing countries adapt to climate change and cope with extreme weather events. The upcoming United Nations climate talks are expected to focus on the impact of climate change on health and the crucial steps needed to protect vulnerable populations.
Real-life Impact in Somalia
Climate-driven droughts and floods have already had a devastating effect on populations in the Horn of Africa. The region has experienced extended dry periods and short intense rainfall since 2020, resulting in increased food insecurity and mass displacement. Floods, which the World Food Program warns will push the country to the brink of famine, have further worsened the situation. Individuals like Abigael Lukhwaro, advocacy manager for Doctors Without Borders in Somalia, highlight the urgent need for nations like Somalia to be better prepared and compensated for future climate shocks to minimize the impact on citizens’ livelihoods.
The Future of Climate Change and Global Health
This report should serve as a wake-up call for the world to take decisive action to mitigate the impact of climate change on global health. Climate change affects the most vulnerable populations the most, and there is an urgent need to rally together to address this crisis. The increasing health-related risks of rising temperatures should spur policymakers and the public to take steps to combat climate change and protect populations from the devastating impact on their well-being, livelihoods, and future.”