Meeting global targets to limit climate change could stop millions of heat-related deaths in the Middle East and North Africa, experts say.
According to the latest scientific study published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, reducing carbon emissions to limit the increase in average global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius could reduce heat deaths in the region by 80%. will go
The regional focus on the threat of heat comes at a time when Dubai is preparing to host the UN climate summit, Cop28, in November. Many of the world’s countries have pledged to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius under the Paris climate accords, which will trigger efforts to shift to low-carbon energy sources.
According to the research led by experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, if carbon emissions are not reduced and its amount in the atmosphere increases, then by the end of this century, every one million people living in the region will die. Of these, approximately 123 people will die each year from heat-related causes, which is 60 times higher than the current heat-related death rate and far higher than in other regions of the world.
Of the 19 countries analyzed, Iran is expected to have the highest annual death rate under the high-emissions scenario. This rate is 423 deaths per 100,000 population per year. Shakur Hajat, one of the lead authors of the study, said that some parts of Iran are likely to experience very high temperatures. He said that if the target of 2 degrees Celsius is not achieved, it will have disastrous effects on health. He said that despite strong measures, the countries of the region need to take precautionary measures to protect their citizens from the dangers of extreme heat.
He said public health measures such as national heat prevention plans and heat alert warning systems could be introduced, common in Europe and parts of North America and Asia, but not in the Middle East. He said that countries in the Middle East and North Africa also need to strengthen their existing health systems to avoid the effects of climate change.