27 European Academies: Climate change is a serious threat to human health

Global warming due to climate change already has a serious impact on people’s health and the situation will worsen in the future, according to a new report from 27 national academies in Europe, including the Academy of Athens.

Heatwaves and floods will claim more victims as extreme weather increases but there are serious indirect effects too, from spreading mosquito-borne diseases to worsening mental health.

The most vulnerable groups of the population are the elderly, chronically ill, children and migrants, while the inhabitants of major cities are more exposed to high levels of heat stress than those in the province.

Geographically, the Mediterranean and the Arctic regions are considered to be the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change on health, the report said.

Academies propose limiting meat consumption, which will help to control greenhouse gases while it will also directly affect human health.

Scientists are calling on governments and the international community to show political will, better cooperation, and manage to keep the average global warming below the 2°C. The ultimate goal should be a zero-carbon economy by 2050.

On the Greek side, Professor of the University of Athens, Christos Zerefos, contributed to the report.