Ground Report | New Delhi: Heat could kill 83 million; In one of its latest reports, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned that the massive emission of greenhouse gases was causing the appearance of extreme phenomena in the world. The evidence could be seen in the unusual heat waves that hit the Northern Hemisphere or the floods in Europe. Events that resulted, on the other hand, in hundreds of human lives.
In this sense, Daniel Bressler, from Columbia University, found a gap in the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), which represents the marginal social damage due to the emission of one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent at a given time, at not taking into account possible deaths from climate change.
Based on his calculations, and assuming emissions continue to rise, he concluded that a higher emission of metric tons of carbon relative to 2020 could induce 2.26 × 10-4, or 0.000226 deaths. This means that for every 4,434 metric tons of CO 2 they emit beyond the 2020 emissions rate, we will kill one person.
“Those 4,434 tons are equivalent to the current lifetime emissions of 3.5 Americans. This means that at the current rate of pollution an American would theoretically kill an additional 0.29 humans. This does not mean that every living American is programmed to kill 0.29 people, but rather it is a way of visualizing the consequences of our actions ”, argues Daniel Bressler.
For a world average, 4,434 tons is equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 12.8 people, which theoretically kill 0.08 people per capita. Adding to the current figure one million metric tons, the same that produce 216,000 vehicles or 115,000 homes, would kill 226 people.
Heat could kill 83 million
High-level UN climate champions have updated 2030 climate progress in a document covering more than 30 sectors that make up the global economy, with a specific focus on oil and gas, in order to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse.
“We believe that once 20% of the key players within each sector commit to playing their role to transform the sector in line with the Climate Action Paths, we will have achieved revolutionary ambition,” they say in a statement. “This means that sufficient momentum is generated among a critical mass of key players, allowing them to break away from the business-as-usual path and, together, deliver innovative results at the same pace,” they add.
To achieve a transformation of the entire economy, cities, regions and private sector leaders will need to work in partnership and commit their skills, ingenuity, and resources to achieve these advances. “We cannot win the Race to Zero by running alone. Only by collaborating in the transformation of wholesale systems can we improve sectors of our global economy to offer a healthy, resilient, and carbon-free future. These sector advances will allow us to go further and faster in our Race towards Zero emissions ”, comments Gonzalo Muñoz, COP25 Climate Champion.
In a scenario in which humanity increases the planetary average temperature from pre-industrial levels by 4.1 degrees Celsius by 2100, climate change could kill 83 million people. “The greatest deaths will occur in poor and warm regions, such as Africa and Asia,” says Daniel Bressler. (Heat could kill 83 million )
Social Cost of Carbon currently stands at $ 37
For him, the data may be even more pessimistic because for his equation he only took into account direct mortality related to temperature, such as heat stroke, omitting others caused by storms, floods, poor harvests, infectious diseases, or wars due to their difficult quantification. “It can be a huge understatement,” he warns. On the other hand, he points out that the Social Cost of Carbon currently stands at $ 37, but taking into account the author’s calculations, that figure could rise to $ 258, that is, seven times more.
This implies that, if emissions are sharply reduced at present and full decarbonisation is achieved by 2050, with a temperature increase of only 2.4 degrees Celsius (although higher than the ceiling proposed in the Paris Agreement), the excess deaths would drop to 9 million by 2100.
“Our emissions depend to a great extent on the technology and culture of the place where we live,” he clarifies, while pointing out that individuals, companies, and communities should try to reduce their own emissions. However, for him, a more effective response lies in the implementation of large-scale policies, such as carbon pricing, caps, and trade and investment in low-carbon technologies and energy storage.