Scientific journal scalpel The sixth edition of the project report has been released Lancet countdown This Wednesday (20). Based on the analysis of 44 indicators related to the effects of climate change on health, the document draws attention to the “red code for a healthy future”. The study shows that social and health inequalities are becoming increasingly acute, and researchers warn of the need to include climate mitigation in COVID-19 recovery plans.
This work is the result of the efforts of 120 professionals from United Nations (UN) agencies and 38 academic institutions. As countries around the world invest public money to save the economy, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus, experts point out that this spending should take into account green practices and be able to reduce inequality.
Alignment with the fight against climate change has become urgent, especially given the scenario in which many recovery plans do not align with the Paris Agreement. Fossil fuel uptakes—which provide, for example, large subsidies for oil, gas, and coal, and little financial support for clean energy—might be able to achieve some economic goals. The problem is that in the medium and long term, this could make it impossible to limit global warming to 1.5°C, as stipulated by the United Nations.
For every $5 spent on pandemic recovery, less than $1 is expected to be allocated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And what follows that? Well, it is deducted from the quality of life, which mainly affects low-income countries, whose populations are the ones that contribute relatively less to climate change. “We are recovering from a health crisis in a way that puts our health at risk,” says Maria Romanello, first author of the article and member of the Institute for Global Health, University College London, UK.
Losses around the world
notes Anthony Costello, CEO of Lancet countdown and Member of the Institute for Global Health, University College London. A 2021 report shows that residents in 134 countries were more vulnerable to wildfires. Millions of farmers and construction workers may have lost income because the temperature is so high within days that they cannot work. Dehydration wasn’t common at all.”
In 2020, up to 19% of the world’s land surface was affected by severe drought in any one month, a figure that never exceeded 13% between 1950 and 1999. Sanitation. In addition, droughts increase the risk of wildfires and exposure to pollutants – this last factor was responsible for nearly 29,000 deaths that occurred in Brazil in 2019. Also in our country, from 2018 to 2019, one of the largest increases in heat- deaths Relevant among people over 65 years of age.
Another element affected by these conditions is the Brazilian agricultural potential. As temperatures rise, the maturation time of plants decreases, which reduces productivity. Compared to 1981-2010 levels, 2015-2020 saw a decline in agricultural yields of 4.7% for winter wheat, 2.35% for maize, 1.57% for soybeans, and 56% for rice. Globally, food insecurity reached 2 billion people in 2019. With climate change, the scenario is expected to worsen.
Another conclusion of the report is that the environmental crisis provides ideal conditions for the transmission of infectious diseases, which could undo decades of progress in controlling some of them. There is an increased risk of dengue, chikungunya and Zika outbreaks in countries with a high human development index, including European countries; That malaria is more likely to occur in mountainous areas with low HDI sites, and that beaches around northern Europe and the United States are more susceptible to the spread of bacteria that cause gastroenteritis, severe wound infections, and sepsis.
Regarding marine waters, specialists note a jump in the average ocean surface temperature in 95 of 136 (almost 70%) coastal countries analyzed, compared to the years 2003 to 2005. This could compromise the safety of about 3.3 billion people They depend on sea food. The 569.6 million people living less than 5 meters above sea level are at increased risk from floods, severe storms, and salinization of soil and water.
The document also notes that according to a survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2021, only 45 of the 91 participating countries (i.e. 49%) had a strategy contemplating health and climate change. Of the 45, only 8 said this issue could affect the allocation of human and financial resources. Worldwide, only 0.3% of climate change adaptation funding goes to health systems. Therefore, much of the world’s population is not well prepared to deal with the consequences of the environmental crisis.
It’s time to work
“The good news is that the tremendous efforts that countries are making to restore their economies after the pandemic can be directed, simultaneously, to climate change and to Covid-19,” Costello suggests. If governments choose the traditional path that has been taken for years, we are all at risk.
I 2018, o Lancet countdown They analyzed 84 countries that account for 92% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Of all these places, 65 places had negative net carbon prices, which is the equivalent of public subsidies for fossil fuels. The amount of subsidies averaged $1 billion, with some countries providing net fossil fuel subsidies amounting to tens of billions of dollars each year, despite the adverse effects on the land.
Instead of encouraging the use of fossil fuels, world leaders could create, for example, environmentally sustainable jobs in the carbon-neutral energy sector. “It is time to realize that no one is immune from the effects of climate change. As we recover from COVID-19, we still have time to take a different path and create a healthier future for all of us,” Romanello warns.
Now, the expectation is that at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), to be held in Scotland on October 31, politicians will shrug off the rhetoric and begin to act effectively. “The world is watching COP26 – it is widely seen as the last and best chance to re-set the path to global carbon neutrality by 2050,” he writes. scalpel in editing.
“This year’s indicators hold grim prospects: global inequalities are rising and the trend is that all health outcomes are getting worse. Health services in low- and middle-income countries urgently need to be strengthened…however, the future is not necessarily lost…Subjecting to the climate emergency is not inevitably,” concludes the scientific journal.
This article is part of the #UmSóPlaneta initiative, a consortium of 19 brands from Editora Globo, Edições Globo Condé Nast and CBN. Learn more through umsoplaneta.globo.com.
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