Climate change is fuelling a worsening global health crisis

Authors of the Lancet Countdown report suggest that switching to renewables could eliminate millions of deaths

Big Zero Report 2022

Human health is severely impacted by climate change.

That’s one of the worrying findings of the Lancet Countdown report, which suggests the world’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels increases the risk of infectious disease and heat-related illness.

This year’s report finds that a “persistent fossil fuel addiction” is amplifying the health impacts of the current crises the world faces.

It also notes that extreme heatwaves in 2020 impacted 98 million more people suffering from food insecurity than annually from 1981 to 2010.

The report’s authors stress that people from vulnerable age groups were exposed to 3.7 billion more heatwave days last year than annually from 1986-2005.

It is estimated that heat-related deaths globally have increased by two-thrids over the last two decades.

Worryingly, the report, which includes the work of 99 researchers from 51 organisations including the World Health Organization, suggests that despite commitments, the carbon intensity of the global energy system decreased by less than 1% since 1992.

The report states: “Despite the challenges, there is clear evidence that immediate action could still save the lives of millions, with a rapid shift to clean energy and energy efficiency.

“Shifting away from fossil fuels could prevent the 1.2 million deaths resulting from exposure to fossil fuel-derived ambient particulate matter (PM2.5).”

Network with hundreds of businesses and public sector organisations taking bigger steps to net zero. Book your FREE ticket to the Big Zero Show 2023 now. 

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast