Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Is climate change affecting global health?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Impact of climate change on human health

A recent report by Lancet, has traced in detail the intimate link between changing weather events and their impact on the health of people.

What is the news?

  • The 2022 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: Health at the Mercy of Fossil Fuels points out that the world’s reliance on fossil fuels increases the risk of disease, food insecurity and other illnesses related to heat.

Impact of climate change on health

 (1) Extreme Events

  • Heatwaves: The Lancet report indicates that rapidly increasing temperatures exposed vulnerable populations (adults above 65 years old and children younger than 1) to 3.7 billion more heatwave days in 2021 than annually in 1986–2005.
  • Shift in patterns: There is no doubt that events such as floods, droughts and recurrent cyclones are direct outcome of climate change.

(2) Impact on health

  • Infectious diseases: The changing climate is affecting the spread of infectious disease, raising the risk of emerging diseases and co-epidemics. For instance, coastal waters are becoming more suited for the transmission of Vibrio pathogens.
  • More vector borne diseases: The number of months suitable for malaria transmission has increased in the highland areas of the Americas and Africa.
  • More lives loss: The WHO has predicted that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 2,50,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.
  • Others: Low air quality, Rise in zoonotic diseases.

(3) Food security

  • Crop loss: Higher temperatures threaten crop yields directly, with the growth season shortening for many cereal crops.
  • Supply chain disruptions: Extreme weather events disrupt supply chains, thereby undermining food availability, access, stability, and utilisation.
  • Malnutrition: The prevalence of undernourishment increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and up to 161 million more people faced hunger in 2020 than in 2019.

Way forward

  • Health-centred response: A health-centred response to the coexisting climate, energy, and cost-of-living crises provides an opportunity to deliver a healthy, low-carbon future.
  • Realization of the problem: The governments’ commitment to assess and address the threats from climate change, are positive signs, the report stresses.
  • Holistic approach: This is the way a health-centred response would work – it would reduce the likelihood of the most catastrophic climate change impacts, while improving energy security and creating an opportunity for economic recovery.
  • Shift in dietary patterns: The report also calls for an accelerated transition to balanced and more plant-based diets, as that would help reduce emissions from red meat and milk production, and prevent diet-related deaths.
  • Easing the healthcare: The report emphasizes reducing the strain on health-care providers, and leading to more robust health systems.


(Click) FREE1-to-1 on-call Mentorship by IAS-IPS officers | Discuss doubts, strategy, sources, and more

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch