Poor air quality and climate change are the two greatest threats to human health in the pan-European region – says new UN report
Poor air quality, climate change, unhealthy lifestyles and the disconnection between people and the environment are increasingly affecting human health in the region, finds the latest Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) assessment for the pan-European region, prepared by UNEP and UNECE with support from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Air pollution is now the greatest health risk in the region, with more than 95% of the EU urban population exposed to levels above World Health Organisation guidelines, for example. Over 500,000 premature deaths in the region were attributable to outdoor air quality and 100,000 to indoor air quality in 2012.
Climate change is one of the largest threats to human and ecosystem health and to achieving sustainable development in the pan-European region. It is also an accelerator for most other environmental risks. Impacts of climate change affect health through floods, heat waves, droughts, reduced agricultural productivity, exacerbated air pollution and allergies and vector, food and water-borne diseases.
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