Opinion Piece Urges Greater Global Action On Climate Change, Health Impacts

Channel News Asia: Commentary: We call it climate change. It’s more like a global health crisis
Maria Neira, director of the department of public health, environmental and social determinants of health at the World Health Organization

“The climate crisis is also a health crisis. The same emissions that cause global warming are also largely responsible for polluting the air we breathe, causing heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and infections, and affecting every organ in our bodies. Air pollution is the new tobacco, causing as many deaths as cigarettes do. And though it threatens us all, children, the elderly, pregnant women, and adults with weakened immune systems are the most at risk. … It is clear that we need an international and just response to this increasing strain on public health. Future efforts must reflect the real costs of our fossil-fuel based economy and aid those most affected. To achieve this, we will need all signatories to the Paris climate accord to strengthen their national climate plans by 2020. Beyond that, we need to establish new, robust mechanisms for protecting the most vulnerable and helping communities adapt to the realities of climate change. Health must be at the heart of our Paris commitments…” (12/16).