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Action On Climate Change Required To Prevent Harm To Health, Development, Reports Say

“[A] lack of action on climate change and habitat destruction will threaten the progress of developing countries,” because environmental sustainability affects “a wide range of social issues,” including “health, education, income, gender disparities and energy production, combined with protection of the ecosystem,” according to the U.N. Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report 2011, titled, “Sustainability and Equity: a Better Future for All,” VOA News reports. The report “argues that if you invest in people’s health and schooling, the population will be a better keeper of its environmental resources over the long term,” according to the news service (Lewis, 11/8).

In related news, the International Energy Agency released its annual World Energy Outlook, saying “climate change will be essentially irreversible within a little over five years” and “urging governments to do what they can to prevent this outcome,” according to the Wall Street Journal. In addition to discussing energy supply and demand, the report says an anticipated increase in global temperatures “would have severe consequences, including a sea level rise of up to two meters — causing dislocation of human settlements — and drought, floods and heat waves that would severely affect food production, rates of disease and mortality, the IEA said,” the newspaper writes (Herron, 11/10).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.