Heat-related deaths increased by 68 per cent between 2000–2004 and 2017–2021
A fortnight ahead of CoP27, a new Lancet study claims that anthropogenic climate change has resulted in heat deaths, hunger, heat-related illnesses and infectious diseases. Around 98 million more people worldwide reported moderate to severe food insecurity in 2020 than the average in 1981-2010 (103 countries).
Vulnerable population groups (adults older than 65 years, and children younger than one year of age) faced 3.7 billion more heatwave days in 2021 than annually in 1986–2005, resulting in heat-related deaths increasing by 68 per cent between 2000–2004 and 2017–2021.
Period of malaria transmission increased by 31.3 per cent and 13·8 per cent in the highland areas of the Americas and Africa from 1951–60 to 2012–21 respectively. Dengue transmission has risen by 12 per cent globally between 1951–60 and 2012–21.
In India, heat-related deaths increased by 55 per cent in the period of 2017-2021 compared to 2000-2004. A loss of 167.2 billion labour hours due to heat exposure led to an economic loss of 5.4 per cent of the GDP.
Moreover, a struggling healthcare system has been knocked down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of 95 countries reported, only 60 reported a high to very high implementation status for health emergency management in 2021.
Coverage of climate change and health reached record levels in 2021, especially at the 2021 UN General Assembly debate. The report said that “there is clear evidence that immediate action could still save the lives of millions, with a rapid shift to clean energy and energy efficiency”.
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