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Figure 8.3. Direction and magnitude of change of selected health impacts of climate change (confidence levels are assigned based on the IPCC guidelines on uncertainty, see h ttp://www. ipcc. ch/activity/uncertain tyguidancenote.pdf).

Figure 8.3. Direction and magnitude of change of selected health impacts of climate change (confidence levels are assigned based on the IPCC guidelines on uncertainty, see h ttp://www. ipcc. ch/activity/uncertain tyguidancenote.pdf).

HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases) and indirectly (ill-health contributes to extreme poverty, hunger and lower educational achievements) (Haines and Cassels, 2004). Rapid and intense climate change is likely to delay progress towards achieving development targets in some regions. Recent events demonstrate that populations and health systems may be unable to cope with increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme events. These events can reduce the resilience of communities, affect vulnerable regions and localities, and overwhelm the coping capacities of most societies.

There is a need to develop and implement adaptation strategies, policies and measures at different levels and scales. Current national and international programmes and measures that aim to reduce the burdens of climate-sensitive health determinants and outcomes may need to be revised, reoriented and, in some regions, expanded to address the additional pressures of climate change. This includes the consideration of climate-change-related risks in disease monitoring and surveillance systems, health system planning, and preparedness. Many of the health outcomes are mediated through changes in the environment. Measures implemented in the water, agriculture, food, and construction sectors should be designed to benefit human health. However, adaptation is not enough.

8.7.1 Health and climate protection: clean energy

There is general agreement that health co-benefits from reduced air pollution as a result of actions to reduce GHG emissions can be substantial and may offset a substantial fraction of mitigation costs (Barker et al., 2001, 2007; Cifuentes et al., 2001; West et al., 2004). In addition, actions to reduce methane emissions will decrease global concentrations of surface ozone. A portfolio of actions, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transport measures, is needed in order to achieve these reductions (see IPCC, 2007c).

In many low-income countries, access to electricity is limited. Over half of the world's population still relies on biomass fuels and coal to meet their energy needs (WHO, 2006). These biomass fuels have low combustion efficiency and a significant, but unknown, portion is harvested non-renewably, thus contributing to net carbon emissions. The products of incomplete combustion from small-scale biomass combustion contain a number of health-damaging pollutants, including small particles, carbon monoxide, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and a range of toxic volatile organic compounds (Bruce et al., 2000). Human exposures to these pollutants within homes are large in comparison with outdoor air pollution exposures. Current best estimates, based on published epidemiological studies, are that biomass fuels in households are responsible annually for approximately 0.7 to 2.1 million premature deaths in low-income countries (from a combination of lower-respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer). About two-thirds occur in children under the age of five and most of the rest occur in women (Smith et al., 2004).

Clean development and other mechanisms could require calculation of the co-benefits for health when taking decisions about energy projects, including the development of alternative fuel sources (Smith et al., 2000, 2005). Projects promoting co-benefits in low-income populations show promise to help achieve cost-effective, long-term protection from climate impacts as well as promoting immediate sustainable development goals (Smith et al., 2000).

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Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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