Climate change poses serious health risk for people in the Netherlands, says expert
The Dutch medicine journal NTvG joined 200 other medical journals worldwide in their call for world leaders to intensify their effort in combating climate change, NOS reported.
Climate change poses an immediate risk for public health, the experts said. “Climate change and the decline in biodiversity is a much larger problem than the pandemic”, NTvG editor-in-chief Olde Rikkert told NOS Radio 1 Journaal. “While you do have a vaccine for the coronavirus, you don’t have that for climate change and biodiversity.”
The experts said they believe the earth is steering towards a two degrees Celsius temperature increase.
Most heavily impacted are the socio-economically disadvantaged, ethnic minorities, elderly and children, according to the experts.
“In the Netherlands, we already see a lot of damage due to climate change and that is not compensated by slightly warmer winter”, Rikkert said.
Rising temperatures can, for example, be a risk for vulnerable groups such as small children, people with medical preconditions and the elderly. “From a recent overview article, it was shown that the heat in the Netherlands already claimed more victims in the past years. But also, the increase in pollen can be dangerous for people with lung disease. Air pollution already claims many lives”, Rikkert said.
Another danger that Rikkert took into account that is caused by climate change is the increase in UV light which could lead to diseases, such as skin cancer.
The experts demanded that especially rich countries, such as the Netherlands, start investing in "redesigning transport systems, cities, production and distribution of food, financial market, healthcare and much more” to become more sustainable."