GENEVA / CLIMATE CHANGE HEALTH

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02-Nov-2023 00:02:57
With more frequent extreme weather events and the world warming up faster than at any point in recorded history, human health – particularly in the most vulnerable communities - is increasingly threatened, stated a new multi-agency report coordinated by the UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) which focused its 2023 annual report “State of Climate Series” on health. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / CLIMATE CHANGE HEALTH
TRT: 02:57
SOURCE: UNTV CH
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 02 NOVEMBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior, UN Flag Alley

02 NOVEMBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press room with speakers at podium
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Joy Shumake-Guillemot, Joint WMO-WHO Office on Climate
and Health:
“The impacts of climate change on health are wide ranging, affecting the determinants of health from social behaviours to water safety to air quality and food security. And we see that it is the most vulnerable countries that are impacted the most by climate change and particularly low- and middle-income countries are being impacted heavily by climate change.”
4. Close up, journalist taking notes
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Joy Shumake-Guillemot, Joint WMO-WHO Office on Climate
and Health:
“The impacts of extreme heat are quite severe, with up to half a million people being impacted with excess mortality related to extreme heat around the world.”
6. Wide shot, press room with journalists and speaker on the screen
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Prof Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological
Organisation (WMO):
“In the Horn of Africa during the past three years, we had very severe food insecurity situation, which was related to both the heat and drought. And then quite often in these episodes when we have heatwaves, we have also fairly poor air quality. For example, in 2003, when we got the 75,000 casualties in in Europe, at the same time, the surface ozone concentrations were very, very high.”
8. Wide shot, press briefing room with journalists and speakers at the podium
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Neira, Director Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health (WHO):
“The real solution will be to stop the problem. So, the cause of the problem, which is the combustion of fossil fuels, and this is for the health community, this is extremely important because the combustion of those fossil fuels are not only contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, but as well to air pollution.”
10. Wide shot, press room with journalists and speakers at the podium
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Neira, Director Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health (WHO):
“We are creating conditions for more non-communicable diseases, lung cancer, chronic respiratory infections because of the bad quality of the air we breathe.”
12. Med shot, press room with journalists and speaker at podium
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Neira, Director Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health (WHO):
“Immediate consequences because of the disaster, but as well, because they there will be massive displacement. They will maybe be responsible for destruction of the land and that with agricultural production and therefore we will see malnutrition and massive mental health issues as well that we are seeing.”
14. Med shot, speakers at podium
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Neira, Director Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health (WHO):
“If you have all of these extreme weather events, you have a global warming, you will have more difficult to access water services and that will be responsible as well for a massive increase on waterborne diseases. We have seen an increase in cholera outbreak around the world, by the way.”
16. Wide shot, speakers at podium
17. Wide shot, speakers at podium with journalists in press room and speaker on screen
18. Wide shot, press room with journalists and screens with speaker

STORYLINE:

With more frequent extreme weather events and the world warming up faster than at any point in recorded history, human health – particularly in the most vulnerable communities - is increasingly threatened, stated a new multi-agency report coordinated by the UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) which focused its 2023 annual report “State of Climate Series” on health.

“The impacts of climate change on health are wide ranging, affecting the determinants of health from social behaviours to water safety to air quality and food security,” said Dr. Joy Shumake-Guillemot from the joint WMO-WHO Office on Climate and Health at the report launch on Thursday. “We see that it is the most vulnerable countries that are impacted the most by climate change and particularly low- and middle-income countries are being impacted heavily by climate change.”

The report, which includes input from more than 30 collaborating partners, shows that scientific know-how and resources can make a real difference in people’s daily life but are not sufficient accessible or utilized such as early warning coverage. The number of medium- or large-scale disaster events is projected to reach 560 a year – or 1.5 each day – by 2030. Countries with limited early warning coverage have disaster mortality that is eight times higher than countries with substantial to comprehensive coverage, according to figures cited in the report.

Between 2000 and 2019, estimated deaths due to heat were approximately 489,000 per year, with a particularly high burden in Asia (45 percent) and Europe (36 percent), said the report.

“The impacts of extreme heat are quite severe, with up to half a million people being impacted with excess mortality related to extreme heat around the world,” said Dr. Shumake-Guillemot when speaking to reporters at the United Nations in Geneva.

Climate change is exacerbating risks of food insecurity. In 2012-2021, 29 percent more global land area was affected by extreme drought for at least one month per year than in 1951–1960.

“In the Horn of Africa during the past three years, we had very severe food insecurity situation, which was related to both the heat and drought,” recalled Prof. Petteri Taalas, WMO’s Secretary-General. “Quite often in these episodes when we have heatwaves, we have also fairly poor air quality. For example, in 2003, when we got the 75,000 casualties in in Europe, at the same time, the surface ozone concentrations were very, very high.”

According to the report, heatwaves also exacerbate air pollution, which is already responsible for an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year and is the fourth biggest killer by health risk factor.

“The real solution will be to stop the cause of the problem, which is the combustion of fossil fuels and this is for the health community, this is extremely important because the combustion of those fossil fuels are not only contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, but as well to air pollution,” said Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the World Health Organization (WHO). She added that “we are creating conditions for more non-communicable diseases, lung cancer, chronic respiratory infections because of the bad quality of the air we breathe.”

According to Dr. Neira, there are not only “immediate consequences because of the disaster, but as well massive displacement. They will maybe be responsible for destruction of the land and that with agricultural production and therefore we will see malnutrition and massive mental health issues as well that we are seeing.”

“If you have all of these extreme weather events, you have global warming, you will have more difficulties to access water services and that will be responsible as well for a massive increase on waterborne diseases,” said Dr. Neira, adding, “we have seen an increase in cholera outbreak around the world, by the way.”

The changing climatic conditions are also enhancing the transmission of many climatically sensitive infectious vector-, food-, and water-borne diseases. For example, dengue is the world’s fastest-spreading vector-borne disease, whilst the length of the malaria transmission season has increased in parts of the world.
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