The health of Americans, and of people around the world, will significantly improve if the U.S. and other nations adopt ambitious policies to rein in climate change.
So says the World Health Organization (WHO), which calls climate change “this century’s biggest threat to human health.” But if governments adopt policies that align with the Paris Climate Agreement, millions of lives can be saved by 2040, according to WHO.
Tackling the climate crisis can be seen as an important health opportunity.
Here’s why: dealing with the climate challenge requires governments to adopt policies that move us quickly away from dependence on dirty fossil fuels, toward widespread use of renewable energy. This will mean much cleaner air to breathe. And that means much less respiratory disease like asthma, less cardiovascular disease, and less lung cancer.
So there are several important benefits from reducing our use of fossil fuels:
• it will help stabilize our climate;
• it will generate a great many well-paying renewable energy jobs; and
• it will save a great many of the seven million people who die every year from health conditions caused – or worsened – by breathing dirty air.
April Moore, Basye