Close to ten million climate deaths by 2030, study warns
A comprehensive report about the climate-induced vulnerability of societies, released yesterday at COP 16 by the humanitarian research organisation DARA, throws more light on the economic and humanitarian consequences of global warming. According to the “Climate Vulnerabilty Monitor”, rising temperatures and its after effects (storm-tides, droughts, wildfires etc.) already cause up to 350,000 deaths per year. If action is not taken, this number might climb to 1 million deaths per year from 2030. Not all regions of the world would suffer in the same way: according to the study no less than 99 per cent of all mortality occurs in developing countries, and most of those affected will be children and women.
The report describes the estimated effects and chain reactions of global warming in 184 countries of the world, distinguishing health-related consequences, weather disasters, human habitat-loss and economic stresses. Every country is vulnerable, the authors say, and every region of the world will face climate insecurities and ecosystem damages of one kind or another. However, climate stresses on the economy (including lost value in the agricultural sector, forestry and fisheries) and losses to the human habitat through growing desertification and sea-level rise will be the most widespread effects. As a result, the total losses at today’s prices, to be caused by climate change, rise to 150 billion dollars.
With its 300 pages the study is not restricted to depicting negative scenarios. Corresponding to their findings and observations the authors deliver headline recommendations, and propose measures to be implemented by governments in order to avoid the worst impacts.
By Jesuit European Office, Brussels