UN agency says medics are already dealing with effects of climate change
Cyclists ride through thick wildfire smoke in Yakutsk, Russia. Health chiefs are calling for action to protect both the planet and public health. Getty Adopting greener lifestyles will not only help to rescue the planet but will save millions of lives in the process, the World Health Organisation has said.
Healthier diets, cleaner air and cycling to work would have the double benefit of reducing disease and poor health as well as tackling climate change, it said.
The WHO told delegates who will attend next month’s Cop26 summit that measures to slow global warming would have the knock-on effect of combating conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
Medics are already dealing with the effects of climate change, the UN agency said, with health systems strained by natural disasters such as storms and floods.
“The health arguments for rapid climate action have never been clearer,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general.
“Protecting health requires action well beyond the health sector, in energy, transport, nature, food systems, finance and more.”The UN agency said a shift to plant-based diets, which would reduce methane emissions, would have the additional effect of tackling health problems such as obesity.Political leaders have sought to play down suggestions that curbing meat consumption is necessary to save the planet.But the WHO’s report said governments should use subsidies to encourage plant-based diets and sustainable agriculture at the expense of intensive meat farming.Maria Neira, the WHO’s environment director, said such […]