Spiralling energy bills & ill health – helping Londoners keep warm and well in a changing climate

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How climate change, ill health and fuel poverty are linked.
What it means for London and How will it affect its most vulnerable residents.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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Spiralling energy bills & ill health – helping Londoners keep warm and well in a changing climate

  1. 1. Spiralling energy bills and ill health – helping Londoners keep warm and well in a changing climate •How climate change, ill health and fuel poverty are linked. •What it means for London • How will it affect its most vulnerable residents
  2. 2. Introduction to Climate Change The Last 10,000 Years • Stable, Warm, Reliable, Very little ice (comparatively) Result:
  3. 3. Why? • Stability allows for people to plan • Agriculture can get started • People can settle down • Civilization can come into being • Modern humans around for 150,000 years • No coincidence civilization only 10,000 years old So you get why we don’t really want things to change that much Introduction to Climate Change
  4. 4. Runaway Greenhouse Effect • Meta-stable System •Positive feedback, warming accelerates Ice Melts Less sunlight reflected back into space Air gets warmer 0 10 20 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Temperature (⁰C) and example of a metastable system Temperature… Stability Stability Instability Introduction to Climate Change
  5. 5. Effects of Climate Change Loss of predictability leading to: • Famine • Drought • Sea Level Rise • Sever Weather increase • Poverty • Displaced People • Desertification • Ocean current diversion • Local cooling – NW Europe • Species Loss • War Effects of Predicted Climate Change on European Agriculture
  6. 6. Effects of Climate Change on the UK • UK temperatures already risen by about one degree since the 1970s • Flooding from heavy downpours • Extremely wet winters could become up to five times more likely over the next 100 years Effects of Predicted Climate Change on European Agriculture • Critical infrastructure in flood-risk areas could also be threatened • Drier warmer summers • Also matched with wider social + economic trends – aging population • International impacts – food security
  7. 7. Effects of Climate Change on London • Particularly sensitive to temperature increase – ‘heat island effect’ • Exposure to flooding • One of the driest capital cities in the world Effects of Predicted Climate Change on European Agriculture • Critical infrastructure in flood-risk areas could also be threatened
  8. 8. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that: “evidence is growing that climate change already contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths” Health impacts of climate change
  9. 9. Extreme weather events • Heat waves - the European heat wave in 2003 led to over 20 000 excess deaths in two weeks • Floods - extensive flooding across the globe in the last few years led to increases in infectious diseases, respiratory symptoms and mental health problems • Malnutrition - droughts and floods will have a devastating effect on already-scarce food supplies. Health impacts of climate change
  10. 10. Infectious diseases • Changing distribution of vector- borne diseases, particularly malaria and dengue, is predicted to be ‘very likely’ with rising temperatures • Rodent-borne and water-borne diseases are also likely to increase • Animal health will also be threatened - 60 cases of bluetongue virus were reported in the UK for the first time ever in 2007, partly as a result of weather conditions. Health impacts of climate change
  11. 11. Respiratory disease and immune disorders • Increasing levels of ozone at ground level could lead to a wide range of adverse respiratory conditions • Changing levels of allergenic pollen are likely to lead to an increase in the incidence and intensity of allergic rhinitis. Health impacts of climate change
  12. 12. Increasing exposure to UV radiation Climate change could slow the recovery of the ozone layer and increase exposure to UV radiation in the population, increasing the risks of skin cancer and the incidence of cataracts. Population displacement Hundreds of thousands of people could be displaced as a result of water scarcity and rising sea levels, with significant health impacts. Health impacts of climate change
  13. 13. How would your communities be affected? What the impact be on your beneficiary groups of: • Weather extremes • Heat • Cold • Flood • Drought • Food security • Increases in commodity prices Effects of Predicted Climate Change on European Agriculture
  14. 14. What Can Your Organisation Do? • Climate Change is a collective problem, it affects all communities though effects may differ • VCS Organisations are leaders, in touch with a wide ranging communities and best placed to affect change for the good Actions: • Inspire and lead on climate change awareness • Pass on what you have learned to your members • Support your members to take action through signposting and advice • Promote the benefits environmental auditing
  15. 15. Thanks for listening! Mike Webster, Operations Manager, London Community Resource Network mike@lcrn.org.uk @LCRNNews www.lcrn.org.uk

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