According to a Lancet analysis, the number of heat-related deaths increased by 68% between 2000–2004 and 2017–2021, and vulnerable groups saw more days of heatwave exposure in 2017 than they did during 1986–2005.
According to a study on the health effects of climate change during the Covid pandemic, the global energy crisis, and the cost-of-living crisis brought on by the war in Russia and Ukraine, vulnerable populations, including the elderly and young children under one year old, were exposed to more days of heatwave in 2021.
While floods in Australia, Brazil, China, Malaysia, Pakistan and other countries have caused thousands of deaths, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and caused billions of dollars in economic losses, wildfires have caused devastation in countries like Greece, Algeria, Italy, and Spain, and record temperatures have been recorded in many countries, the report said.
People in low HDI countries, where nearly none of the losses occurred, were burdened by extreme weather occurrences, it was added. Strengthening the health system’s resilience must be done immediately in order to stop suffering brought on by climate change and a rapidly rising death toll.
Countries vowed to stop dangerous anthropogenic climate change and its detrimental consequences on human health and welfare in 2022, during the 30th anniversary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). However, not much significant action has been taken in response to this.
Fossil fuel dependence not only undermines global health through increased climate change impacts but also affects human health and wellbeing directly, through volatile and unpredictable fossil fuel markets, frail supply chains and geopolitical conflicts, it said.