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Human-Caused Climate Change May Lead To One Billion Premature Deaths Over Next Century: Study

The study, published in the journal Energies, proposes aggressive energy policies that would enable immediate and substantive decreases to carbon emissions

Human-Caused Climate Change May Lead To One Billion Premature Deaths Over Next Century: Study
It also recommends a heightened level of government, corporate and citizen action to accelerate the decarbonisation of the global economy, aiming to minimise the number of projected human deaths

New Delhi: Climate change induced by human activity is likely to be responsible for the premature death of about one billion people over the next century, if global warming reaches two degrees Celsius, a study suggests. The oil and gas industry is directly and indirectly responsible for over 40 per cent of carbon emissions, impacting the lives of billions of people, many living in the world’s most remote and low-resourced communities, the researchers said.

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The study, published in the journal Energies, proposes aggressive energy policies that would enable immediate and substantive decreases to carbon emissions. It also recommends a heightened level of government, corporate and citizen action to accelerate the decarbonisation of the global economy, aiming to minimise the number of projected human deaths.

The researchers found the peer-reviewed literature on the human mortality costs of carbon emissions converged on the “1,000-ton rule,” which is an estimate that one future premature death is caused every time approximately 1,000 tons of fossil carbon are burned. Joshua Pearce, a professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, said,

If you take the scientific consensus of the 1,000-ton rule seriously, and run the numbers, anthropogenic global warming equates to a billion premature dead bodies over the next century. Obviously, we have to act. And we have to act fast.

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Mr Pearce hopes by changing and challenging the language and metrics of global warming, more policymakers and industry leaders will better understand the hard truths about the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. Mr Pearce said,

As predictions of climate models become clearer, the harm we are doing to children and future generations can increasingly be attributed to our actions.

When this direct correlation is recognised, greenhouse gas emissions liabilities can no longer be ignored, the researchers said.

The study found that to limit these enormous future liabilities and save many human lives, humanity needs to stop burning fossil fuels as quickly as possible by following a more aggressive approach to energy efficiency and renewable energy. He added,

To be clear, predicting the future accurately is hard. The 1,000-ton rule is only an order of magnitude best estimate. The number of caused deaths will likely lie between a tenth of a person and 10 people per 1,000 tons. Regardless, the bottom line that we need to act fast is still crystal clea.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Launches Green Fellowship Programme

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoilets are used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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