Climate crisis in Europe and its repercussions on health



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Climate crisis in Europe and its repercussions on health

To keep the climate system within conditions that guarantee the survival of the human species and most of those currently living on planet Earth, it is therefore necessary to rapidly eliminate the emission of further greenhouse gases and remove those already in the atmosphere through the so-called negative emissions.

Surveys such as the 2018 Emissions Gap Report show that, by contrast, greenhouse gas emissions around the world have further increased rather than decreased, and technical solutions for large-scale negative emissions are not at all promising for the time being so the risk of a climate catastrophe persists.

Society can solve the climate crisis and avoid catastrophic climate change only by working together to overcome all divergences and making the climate crisis a top priority. In this way, the 21st century can become one of renewed equity, justice and sustainability.

The highest priority must be given to the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions as the cause of climate change; more emphasis should also be placed on synergies between climate protection and adaptation to global warming.

The study: Tracking progress on health and climate change in Europe, published on The Lancet. Public health, analyzes: "Left unabated, climate change will have catastrophic effects on the health of present and future generations.

Such effects are already seen in Europe, through more frequent and severe extreme weather events, alterations to water and food systems, and changes in the environmental suitability for infectious diseases. As one of the largest current and historical contributors to greenhouse gases and the largest provider of financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation, Europe's response is crucial, for both human health and the planet.

To ensure that health and wellbeing are protected in this response it is essential to build the capacity to understand, monitor, and quantify health impacts of climate change and the health co-benefits of accelerated action.

Responding to this need, the Lancet Countdown in Europe is established as a transdisciplinary research collaboration for monitoring progress on health and climate change in Europe. With the wealth of data and academic expertise available in Europe, the collaboration will develop region-specific indicators to address the main challenges and opportunities of Europe's response to climate change for health.

The indicators produced by the collaboration will provide information to health and climate policy decision making, and will also contribute to the European Observatory on Climate and Health. "