This report adds weight to existing research that shows we are living in a time when climate change is impacting human health.
According to EASAC, climate change’s effects include:
- Worsening mental health: Warmer temperatures, wildfires and air pollution are triggering post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance abuse and depression.
- Increasing physical diseases: Even a small rise in temperature can cause health problems such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
- Spreading mosquito-borne diseases: The distribution of the Aedes Albopictus mosquito, which carries dengue fever, is expanding across Europe due to changing temperatures.
If global temperatures reach this threshold, an estimated 350 million people worldwide would be exposed to extreme heat stress sufficient to greatly reduce their labor productivity during the hottest months of the year, according to EASAC.
EASAC came to a similar conclusion.
“Several hundred thousand premature deaths annually in the EU could be averted by a zero-carbon economy through reduced air pollution,” according to Dr Robin Fears, program director of EASAC Biosciences.
Fears said governments’ top priority should be to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fossil fuel combustion.
Another effective solution is for governments to “promote healthier, more sustainable diets which will lower agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.