Climate change will increasingly harm people’s health and Australians will be particularly vulnerable, according to Canberra authors of the latest international climate change report.
University of Canberra’s Professor Helen Berry is one of the three Canberra researches who have contributed to the health section of the report. She says human health has so far been neglected in public discussions on climate change, as debate has generally focused on the environment and the economic effects of reducing emissions.
“If climate change goes on unchecked, we will see many deaths – we are seeing many deaths already – and you imagine the human population could possibly go extinct if you take the effects of climate change to their extreme logical conclusion,” she said.
“We as a nation and we as a world really need to be focusing on health and well-being, because it’s the bottom line for human survival.”
Australia a Climate Change ‘Canary in a Cage’
Professor Helen Berry says Australia should be particularly concerned.
“Australia’s already a hot country, warming is not good for us,” she said.
She also warns that Australia is a “canary in a cage” when it comes to climate change, as many people in the country doesn’t realise that Australia has the most variable climate. The continent is very sensitive to climate change. The impact of heatwaves is one of the biggest climate change-related risks for Australians.
Heatwave kill more people in the world each year than any other kind of weather-related disaster.
The IPCC also draws attention to the secondary human health effects of climate change.
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