NEW YORK — Much attention has been devoted in recent times to the environmental and economic effects of climate change. Much less attention, however, has been given to the possible effects of climate change, particularly global warming, on the health of the populations, particularly those from the poorest countries. This is a trend that requires prompt attention if the deleterious effects of climate change on health are to be avoided. The recently released U.N. Climate Report states that at least 1 in 6 people worldwide will suffer the consequences of climate change.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), global warming and rainfall changes cause the loss of at least 150,000 lives every year. This figure could increase significantly if current trends of climate change continue. The WHO estimates that the risk of death and disease from climate change will at least double in the next 20 years. Paradoxically, the countries that have least contributed to global warming are the most vulnerable to its negative consequences.
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