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Is climate change affecting global health?

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Environment Conservation/ Social Justice/ Health

 

Source: The Hindu

 Direction: This is taken from the explained section of the Hindu. Previously we covered it as FFP, but here we are providing analysis.

 

Context: As countries gather in Egypt for the ongoing COP27, a recent Lancet report traces in detail the intimate link between climate change and its influence on people’s health.

Highlights of the 2022 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change:

  • Overview:
    • Climate change is not an isolated incident, but a global phenomenon, leaving its impact on almost every aspect of life.
    • While countries are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and continued reliance on fossil fuels has driven the world into global energy and cost-of-living issues.
    • The world’s reliance on fossil fuels increases the risk of disease, food insecurity and other illnesses related to heat.
    • As these crises develop, climate change accelerates, altering the foundations of human health and welfare.
  • Health and climate change:
    • The rapidly increasing temperatures exposed people, especially vulnerable populations to more heatwaves in 2021 than annually between 1986–2005.
    • The changing climate is affecting the spread of infectious diseases. For example, coastal waters are becoming more suited for the transmission of Vibrio pathogens.
  • Food security and climate change:
    • Higher temperatures threaten crop yields directly, with the growing season shortening for many cereal crops.
    • Extreme weather events disrupt supply chains, thereby undermining food availability, access, stability and utilisation.

  

Way ahead:

  • The pace and scale of climate change adaptation, planning and resilience need to be increased.
  • An accelerated transition to clean energy forms, balanced and more plant-based diets.
  • Spreading awareness through media campaigns.
  • The government’s commitment to assess and address the threats from climate change.

 

Conclusion: A health-centred response through global coordination, funding, transparency and cooperation to reduce the vulnerabilities that the world is otherwise exposed to is the need of the hour.

 

Insta Links:

Climate change amplifying health impacts

 

Mains Links:

Q. Analyse the growing impacts of climate change on India. Are the steps taken so far adequate enough to tackle climate change?