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Tags Current Affairs

Climate change damaging health of children

Date: 14 November 2019 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

According to a report in Lancet, climate change is already damaging the health of the world’s children and is set to shape the well-being of an entire generation, unless the world meets the target to limit warming to well below 2?C.

 

Background

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change’ is a comprehensive yearly analysis tracking progress across 41 key indicators, demonstrating what action to meet Paris Agreement targets means for human health.

 

Details

  • The report notes that as temperatures rise, infants will bear the greatest burden of malnutrition and rising food prices.

  • Average yield potential of maize and rice has declined almost 2% in India since the 1960s, with malnutrition already responsible for two-thirds of under-5 deaths.

  • children will suffer most from the rise in infectious diseases , with climatic suitability for the Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera rising 3% a year in India since the early 1980s.

  • The Government of India has launched many initiatives and programmes to address a variety of diseases and risk factors. But this report shows that the public health gains achieved over the past 50 years could soon be reversed by the changing climate.

  • For the world to meet its UN climate goals and protect the health of the next generation, the energy landscape will have to change drastically, says the study.

  • The report says that if the world follows the current trend, with high carbon emissions and climate change continuing at the current rate, a child born today will face a world on average over 4?C warmer by their 71st birthday, threatening their health at every stage of their lives.

  • Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a changing climate. Their bodies and immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to disease and environmental pollutants.

  • The damage done in early childhood is persistent and pervasive, with health consequences lasting for a lifetime.

  • India is joining the global shift towards renewable energy, but it still overwhelmingly relies on coal for electricity, with an 11% increase in its energy from burning coal in 2016-2018, compared to less than a 1.5% rise in China.

  • To dramatically reduce emissions by 2050, and to meet multiple Sustainable Development Goals, India must transition away from coal and towards renewable energy. It will also need to enhance public transport, increase use of cleaner fuels.

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