Within decades, heatwaves caused by climate change will become so extreme in some regions of the world that human life there would be unsustainable
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released a new report saying that aggressive steps need to be taken immediately to avert potentially recurrent heat disasters.
The report comes ahead of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt next month.
MSN reports: In a statement, the UN said: “In the coming decades, heatwaves are predicted to meet and exceed human physiological and social limits in regions such as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and south-west Asia.
“Humanitarian needs are already high in these regions, which would lead to large-scale suffering and death, population movements and further entrenched inequality.”
Previous research has indicated that the number of poor people living in extreme heat conditions in urban areas will increase seven-fold by the middle of the century – with both west Africa and southeast Asia especially hard hit.
Red Cross Secretary General Jagan Chapagain has called for investment in both adaptation and mitigation – with a focus on those countries that are the most vulnerable.
He said: “We don’t want to dramatise it, but clearly the data shows that it does lead towards a very bleak future.”
He added: “At COP27, we will urge world leaders to ensure that this investment reaches local communities that are on the frontline of the climate crisis.
“If communities are prepared to anticipate climate risks and equipped to take action, we will prevent extreme weather events from becoming humanitarian disasters.”
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