NHS Track and Trace app saved '600,000 lives' claims doctor
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A report by the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society has urged that the Government and other public bodies to put health benefits “at the heart of climate change discussions, debate and action”. They say a mixture of policies and personal behavioural changes can be made to improve health and have an impact both immediately and in the long term. It can start by phasing out fossil fuels, the report says, which would cut deaths from air pollution – which causes between 28,000 and 36,000 premature deaths in the UK every year.
Sir Andy Haines, co-chairman of the report and professor of environmental change and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “Many of these could be stopped by phasing out fossil fuels”
A number of other measures to address the climate crisis are also vital in improving public health, according to the report.
It points out that more access to green spaces can boost physical and mental health and that this can be addressed by tackling climate change head-on, including measures such as planting millions of trees and restoring grasslands.
The report also says reducing red and processed meat consumption while introducing more fruit and vegetables to your diet can boost up life expectancy by around eight months.
Research has shown that taking up a diet rich in nuts, seeds, canola and rapeseed oils, and tofu can cut your risk of early death.
These changes to your diet can also reduce your chance of dying from as well as heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Also capable of saving your life, according to the report, is performing more physical activity through increased cycling and walking
The experts also claimed that better insulation in homes would be able to cut 50,000 deaths a year that are cold temperatures.
These measures, the report says, could save the NHS £17billion over 20 years.
While the health benefits of reducing carbon emissions have long been well understood, the ground-breaking report has outlined that meeting ambitious climate targets can make fast improvements to people’s health and their lives.
Sir Haines added: “This report brings us some profoundly good news: the choices we make individually and as a society to prevent climate change will also improve our health, with the potential to reduce the pressure on our overburdened health services – both now and for future generations.”
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This report comes as the Glasgow COP26 climate summit approaches in two weeks time.
World leaders will meet to discuss their climate goals, which the research has revealed will have a direct impact on the duration not only of our planet but also individual lives.
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