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  • 24 October, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

Climate Change and Health

Climate Change and Health

According to a recent Lancet report, over 3,30,000 persons died in India in 2020 as a result of exposure to particulate matter from fossil fuel combustion.

Important Findings

  • The report's title is Countdown on Health and Climate Change: Health at the Mercy of Fossil Fuels.
  • The seventh annual global report is now available.

Temperature Influence:

  • Heat-related mortality in India increased by 55% from 2000 to 2004 to 2017-2021.
  • Problematic government and corporate actions: They continue to pursue tactics that endanger the health and survival of all individuals alive today and future generations.


  • India had a net negative carbon price in 2019, suggesting that the government effectively subsidised fossil fuels.
  • In 2019, India allocated a net 34 billion USD [around]2,80,000 crore to this, accounting for 37.5% of total national health spending.
  • In 2019, biomass accounted for 61% of household energy, while fossil fuels accounted for the remaining 20%.
  • Because of this heavy reliance on fossil fuels, average household particulate matter concentrations surpassed the World Health Organization (WHO) standard by 27-fold nationally and 35-fold in rural dwellings.
  • In India, 45% of metropolitan areas are classed as moderately green or higher.
  • Economic Loss: Due to heat exposure, Indians wasted 16,720 crore potential labour hours in 2021, resulting in income losses equal to nearly 5.4% of the national GDP.

Health Consequences:

  • Dengue: In India, from 1951-1960 to 2012-2021, the number of months appropriate for Aedes Aegypti transmission increased by 1.69%, reaching 5.6 months per year.
  • Heatwave: Infants under one year old suffered a higher number of heatwave days between 2012 and 2021.
  • Adults over the age of 65 had 301 million extra person-days throughout the same time period.
  • In comparison to 1986-2021, this means that each infant experienced an additional 0.9 heatwave days each year from 2012 to 2021, while people over 65 experienced an additional 3.7 per person.
  • Heat-related mortality in India increased by 55% from 2000 to 2004 to 2017-2021.
  • Agriculture: The length of the maize growing season has decreased by 2% from 1981 to 2010.
  • Rice and winter wheat prices have both dropped by 1%.
  • Households are subject to energy, poverty, and harmful levels of air pollution.

About Particulate Matter (PM)

  • Particulate matter (PM) is a type of particle that can be inhaled and respired that is made up of sulphate, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black carbon, mineral dust, and water.


  • PM2.5 is one of six frequently measured criterion air pollutants. It is made up of microscopic aerosol particles measuring 2.5 millimetres or less in diameter.
  • Because of its abundance in the environment and the wide variety of health impacts, it is widely regarded as the most hazardous to human health.
  • It comes from a variety of sources and varies in chemical composition and physical properties.
  • Sulphates, nitrates, black carbon, and ammonium are common chemical constituents of PM2.5.
  • Internal combustion engines, power generation, industrial processes, agricultural processes, construction, and residential wood and coal burning are the most common man-made sources.
  • Dust storms, sandstorms, and wildfires are the most common natural sources of PM2.5.

Way Forward

  • Increased green space, which reduces urban heat, improves air quality, and benefits physical and mental health, can result from urban redesign that prioritises health.
  • Improved air quality will aid in the prevention of deaths caused by exposure to particulate matter derived from fossil fuels.
  • States should begin adapting and implementing heat action plans in their respective cities.
  • The Ahmedabad heat action plan, for example, which has shown that mortality can be reduced, should be implemented everywhere.

Source: The Indian express


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