Climate change claims 300,000 lives a year: Report

May 29th, 2009 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 29 (DPA) Rising temperatures due to climate change already account for some 300,000 deaths a year around the world and could rise to half a million casualties by the year 2030, estimates published Friday showed.
A report on the human impact of climate change, presented by the Global Humanitarian Forum in London Friday, put the current estimated costs of global warming at $125 billion a year.

Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, President of the Global Humanitarian Forum, Friday described global warming as the “greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time”.

Research undertaken by the organisation showed that the “silent crisis” of climate change could claim up to half a million lives a year by 2030.

Most of the deaths would occur as a result of long-term environmental degradation due to climate change, with causes including malnutrition and disease, while others would be the result of weather-related disasters.

By 2030, the number of people seriously affected, either in the short term, for example through loss of their homes due to weather disasters such as flooding, or in the long term through water scarcity, hunger or disease, could rise to 660 million.

Costs could soar to around $300 billion a year, according to the research.

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