Climate change is the greatest challenge of the 21st century, threatening human health and development. The longer we delay action, the greater the risks to human lives and health. Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone. A WHO report launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) this week says that the value of health gains from climate action would far outweigh the cost of mitigation policies at global level, and the benefit-to-cost ratio is even higher in countries such as China and India.
The report highlights why health considerations are critical to the advancement of climate action and outlines key recommendations for policy makers.