STUDY: CLIMATE CHANGE WILL BURDEN FUTURE GENERATIONS WITH LIFELONG ILLNESS
Rising temperatures and extreme weather events from climate change would leave children vulnerable to illnesses throughout their lives, according to a study published on November 13 (Reuters). The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change found that children would be most susceptible to air pollution, food shortages, and warming waters that accelerate the spread of infectious diseases like cholera and dengue fever (Reuters). According to the report, nine of the ten most suitable years for dengue fever transmission have happened since 2000. The elderly also face high health risks—in 2018, heat waves affected 220 million more people over the age of 65 compared with the year 2000 (Guardian).
The Lancet study arrived amidst a week of extreme weather events attributed to climate change, including floods in Venice and wildfires in Australia. Experts say climate change has exacerbated dry conditions in Australia, causing fires that have claimed three lives and scorched over two and a half million acres of farmland (Reuters). Meanwhile, on November 12, floods in Venice reached the highest levels in 50 years (Aljazeera).
Governments and investors around the world remain under pressure to address climate change concerns. On November 14, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the world's biggest multilateral lender, announced that it would stop funding fossil fuel projects by the end of 2021. The new policy enforces a strict carbon emissions efficiency standard that would ban most fossil fuel projects (Aljazeera). Among the four primary policy recommendations of the Lancet study is halting the use of coal (BBC).