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Over 14 million people at risk of climate crisis by 2050, warns WEF

By George George Idowu

In a sobering report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), the specter of climate change casts a dark shadow on our future, revealing that around 14.5 million lives could be in peril by 2050.

Unveiled in a Davos report on Tuesday, flood emerges as a key catalyst for this impending catastrophe, alongside droughts, heat waves, tropical storms, forest fires, and rising sea levels.

Relying on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s medium scenario, which anticipates a 2.7-degree Celsius temperature rise by 2100, the study not only forecasts a staggering loss of lives but also warns of a substantial economic burden, estimating an additional $1.1 trillion on healthcare systems.

The Asia-Pacific region, due to its dense population, is poised to bear the brunt of this global crisis. Floods, identified as a major contributor, are predicted to cause 8.5 million deaths by 2050, extending beyond direct casualties to encompass crop damage, increased infectious diseases, and heightened humidity.

Droughts, the second-highest mortality risk, are expected to claim 3.2 million lives by 2050, primarily due to long-term effects on water quality and soil fertility, with a significant impact on child mortality.

Heat waves, projected to cause around 1.6 million deaths by 2050, pose a considerable threat, especially to older populations.

The report also warns of a surge in illnesses and occupational disabilities, citing the potential spread of diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and Zika infections in Europe and the U.S. due to warmer temperatures.

Overall, regions in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia are particularly vulnerable to the health consequences of climate change.

These alarming findings are set to be further discussed at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, urging global leaders to take immediate and decisive action to address the imminent health crisis posed by climate change.


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