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每日跟讀#765: Climate change exposes future generations to life-long health harm

氣候變遷持續惡化 下一代深陷終生健康危害

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#765: Climate change exposes future generations to life-long health harm

A child born today faces multiple and life-long health harms from climate change, growing up in a warmer world with risks of food shortages, infectious diseases, floods and extreme heat, a major global study has found.

一項大型全球研究發現,今日出生的孩童,面臨著氣候變遷帶來多項終生的健康危害──他們在暖化的世界長大,伴隨著糧食短缺、傳染性疾病、洪水,以及極端高溫等風險。

Climate change is already harming people’s health by increasing the number of extreme weather events and exacerbating air pollution, according to the study published in The Lancet medical journal. And if nothing is done to mitigate it, its impacts could burden an entire generation with disease and illness throughout their lives.

根據這份發表於醫學期刊《刺胳針》的研究指出,氣候變遷造成極端天氣事件不斷增加,空氣汙染持續惡化,早已開始傷害人類健康。而且,如果不採取任何行動來緩和情況,氣候變遷的影響將帶來疾病和病痛,加重一整個世代終生的負擔。

“Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a changing climate. Their bodies and immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to disease and environmental pollutants,” said Nick Watts, who co-led the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change study. He warned that health damage in early childhood is “persistent and pervasive,” and carries lifelong consequences. “Without immediate action from all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, gains in wellbeing and life expectancy will be compromised, and climate change will come to define the health of an entire generation,” he told a London briefing.

《刺胳針健康與氣候變遷倒數計時》的研究共同主持人尼克‧沃茲指出:「孩童面對變遷氣候的健康風險特別脆弱。小孩的身體和免疫系統仍然在發展階段,使得他們更容易受到疾病和環境污染物影響。」

Yet introducing policies to limit emissions and cap global warming would see a different outcome, the research teams said. In that scenario, a child born today, would see an end to coal use in Britain, for example, by their sixth birthday, and the world reaching net-zero emissions by the time they were 31.

The Lancet study is a collaboration by 120 experts from 35 institutions including the WHO, the World Bank, University College London and China’s Tsinghua University.

不過,研究團隊表示,推出政策限制氣體排放,並控制全球暖化程度,則會出現不同的結果。在那樣的情況下,舉例而言,今天出生的孩童會在六歲生日那天看到英國停止使用燃煤,並在三十一歲時看到全球達成淨零碳排放的目標。《刺胳針》這項研究是一百二十位專家的合作成果,他們來自三十五個機構,其中包括世界衛生組織、世界銀行、倫敦大學學院,以及中國的清華大學。

On a “business-as-usual” pathway, with little action to limit climate change, it found that amid rising temperatures and extreme weather events, children would be vulnerable to malnutrition and rising food prices, and the most likely to suffer from warmer waters and climates accelerating the spread of infectious diseases such as dengue fever and cholera.

研究發現,如果照著「一切照常進行」的路徑發展,只採取少許行動限制氣候變遷,除了持續攀升的氣溫和極端天氣事件之外,孩童容易受到營養不良以及食物價格上漲的影響,也最可能面臨暖化的水源和氣候,加速登革熱和霍亂等傳染性疾病的傳播。

Among the most immediate and long-lasting health threats from climate change is air pollution, the researchers said. They called for urgent action to reduce outdoor and indoor pollution through the introduction of cleaner fuels and vehicles, and policies to encourage safe and active transport such as walking and cycling.

研究人員表示,氣候變遷帶來最立即且持續最久的健康威脅就是空氣汙染。他們呼籲各國政府採取緊急行動,藉由引進較乾淨的燃料和交通工具,以減少室外和室內的污染,並推出政策鼓勵大眾採取安全且自主性較高的通勤方式,包括步行和騎腳踏車。

The WHO says that globally in 2016, seven million deaths were due to the effects of household and ambient air pollution. The vast majority of these were in low and middle-income countries. “If we want to protect our children, we need to make sure the air they breathe isn’t toxic,” said Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson, a global health specialist at Britain’s Sussex University who worked on the Lancet study.

世界衛生組織表示,二○一六年全球有七百萬人的死亡原因來自於家庭和周遭環境中的空氣汙染。這些人絕大多數都居住於中低收入國家。英國薩塞克斯大學的全球健康專家索妮雅‧阿耶布─卡爾森參與了這份研究,她表示:「如果想要保護我們的孩子,就必須確定他們呼吸的空氣是無毒的。」

Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/11/17/2003725971/2

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