Climate change will damage the health of an entire generation, with children being the worst affected, according to a new report from medical journal The Lancet. More than 90% of children are exposed to ambient air pollution and fine particulate matter at concentrations above WHO guidelines. Fine particulate matters are the largest global environmental risk factor for premature mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and their effect on health can be lifelong.
The report reveals that ongoing trends of a warming world have effects that threaten human wellbeing. As the fourth hottest year on record, 2018 saw an increased vulnerability to heat across every continent, and an increase of dengue fever jeopardising the health of half the world.
As climate change worsens around the world, the consequences of its impact are more severe in low-income countries. Unlike high-income countries, most economic losses resulting from extreme climate-related events are not covered in low-income countries.
The report notes that despite increasing public attention over the past year, responses from governments have yet to match the scale of the challenge.