The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: 2019 report

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: 2019 report


Our response to climate change today will determine the world we live in tomorrow, and will shape the health of children across
the globe, at every stage of their lives. The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on
Health and Climate Change monitors our choices, demonstrating what action, or the failure to act ,means for human health. There are many paths we can take, from a world of extremes and uncertainty where
a child has to fight simply to survive, to an environment that creates the conditions
that allows them to thrive. If we continue down our current path, a child
born today will live through a world that is over four degrees warmer, with a changing environment threatening the
food they eat, the air they breathe, and the communities they grow up in. Air pollution – already dangerously high
in more than 90% of cities – will worsen, and further damage their hearts and lungs,
from the moment they take their first breath. As they grow, food insecurity will rise, with
children among the worst affected by the malnutrition and stunting that comes from crop failure
in a more volatile climate. Throughout their adult lives, they will experience more heatwaves, stronger storms, the spread of infectious disease, and see climate change intensify mass migration,
extreme poverty, and mental illness. But the future doesn’t have to look this
way. A global response that limits temperature
rise to “well below 2 degrees” will transform the life of a child born today, for the better. Children in the UK will see an end to coal
by their 6th birthday and the growth of solar and wind energy, resulting
in cleaner air across the country. In France, the last petrol car will be sold
by the time they turn 21, with cycle ways and green spaces supporting
safer and more liveable cities. And they will celebrate their 31st birthday
as the world finally reaches net-zero emissions, securing a healthier future for coming generations. Which of these two pathways the world travels
down will depend on the decisions of individuals, businesses, and governments… … and only an ambitious response can ensure
that the health of a child born today isn’t defined by a changing climate. Visit the Lancet Countdown online to find
the latest assessment of the state of health and climate change in your country.

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