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Tackling Global Warming is an Opportunity to Improve Health says New Study

June 23, 2015
Environmental Protection

cloudA new report produced by the Lancet and University College London claims that tackling global warming by slashing fossil fuel use is the greatest opportunity to improve health in the 21st century. Researchers estimate that 1.3 million lives could be saved by 2050 if carbon emissions are cut.

The report was compiled by a panel of specialists including European and Chinese climate scientists and geographers, social, environmental and energy scientists, biodiversity experts and health professionals. Scientists say that reducing emissions will have a positive effect on both direct health impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events, as well as indirect effects which include changes in infectious disease patterns, air pollution, and food shortages.

“We see climate change as a major health issue and that it is often neglected in the policy debates,” said Professor Anthony Costello, director of the UCL Institute of Global Health and co-chair of the commission. “We are getting fatter, we’re getting heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, respiratory ill-health, depression, anxiety and virtually all of things we want to do to protect us against climate change will improve our health, whether it’s active transport – walking, cycling – eating healthier sustainable local food or cutting air pollution. All of that will have a huge health dividend, health benefits and save a lot of money.”

Earlier this year a report by US scientists concluded that the boosts to human health can be worth 10 times the costs of cutting emissions.

You can read the full report here