Climate changes are making people ill
Every year no less than 300,000 people die of the effects of climate change, according to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO). Water shortages, malnutrition and diseases such as malaria are increasingly due to changes in climate. Wemos is very concerned about this worldwide threat to health.
“Broadly speaking it can be argued that the rich countries are the ones causing undesirable climate changes and the poor countries are the ones that suffer most, also in terms of health. It goes without saying that this is an enormous injustice. It makes sense, then, for Wemos to tackle this problem in its capacity of global health advocate.” These are the words of Lietje Petri, a physician at Amsterdam’s Municipal Health Service (GGD). Petri is interested in the relationship between climate and health and represented Wemos at the Climate Conference in Durban in December 2011. Wemos intends to focus on the worldwide problem of climate change, since it touches upon the organization’s objective, to achieve the right to health for everyone.
As Petri explains, “We at Wemos are very concerned about the effects of the increasing climate changes – increasing in number and seriousness. Just take the floods in Pakistan and Thailand and the extreme drought in the Horn of Africa in 2011, the result of which was many more deaths, injuries and illnesses. A major culprit is the gradual rise in temperature due to emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2. This presents an enormous threat to people’s health, causing floods in some places and facing people with water shortages elsewhere in the world. Greenhouse gas emissions are still increasing and they urgently need to be reduced.”