Climate change poses immediate threat to health: experts

October 17, 2011
Residents walk through flood waters in Bangkok. Climate change poses an immediate and serious threat to global health and stability, as floods and droughts destroy people's homes and food supplies and increase mass migration, experts warned Monday.

Climate change poses an immediate and serious threat to global health and stability, as floods and droughts destroy people's homes and food supplies and increase mass migration, experts warned Monday.

In a statement issued at a meeting in London, they urged tougher action to reduce including upping the EU target for cutting from 20 percent by 2020 to 30 percent from 1990 levels.

"It is not enough for politicians to deal with climate change as some abstract academic concept," said a signatory, Hugh Montgomery, director of the University College London (UCL) Institute for Human Health and Performance.

"The price of complacency will be paid in human lives and suffering, and all will be affected.

"Tackling climate change can avoid this, while related independently produce significant health benefits. It is time we saw true leadership from those who would profess to take such a role."

Other signatories include Michael Jay, the chairman of medical charity Merlin, Ian Gilmore, ex-president of the Royal College of Physicians, and Anthony Costello, director of the UCL Institute for .

The statement outlines how rising temperatures and weather instability will lead to more frequent and , increasing the spread of infectious diseases, destroying habitats and causing water and .

This could trigger conflict, humanitarian crisis and mass migration, it says.

Taking swift action to tackle climate change could not only reduce these risks but also improve global health, the experts say, citing moves to phase out coal-fired power stations which would improve air quality.

The experts urge the EU and other developed countries to adopt tougher emissions targets, and developing countries to identify the ways climate change threatens health and seek ways of mitigating or adapting to these.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Group suggests pushing age of adolescence to 24

January 22, 2018
A small group of researchers with the Royal Children's Hospital in Australia is suggesting that it might be time to change the span of years that define adolescence—from the current 10 to 19 to a proposed 10 to 24 years ...

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dutchman
not rated yet Oct 17, 2011
Just saw a presentation by the author on C-SPAN2. "Tropic of Chaos" is an eyeopener. All about the effects of global warming TODAY - not in the future (that is even scarier.)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.