UN agency warns of worsening air quality associated with heat waves

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A new report from the World Meteorological Organization points out that the interaction between pollution and meteorological factors can cause a “climate penalty” for thousands of people around the world.

According to the document, the increase in heat waves associated with forest fires and bushfires this century is expected to worsen air quality, harming human health and ecosystems.

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“Actually, air quality is deteriorating rapidly all over the world because of the higher incidence of fires in the USA, Europe and Brazil”, agreed the professor at the Institute of Physics at USP, Paulo Artaxo.

In an interview with CNN Radio in addition, he explained that “we are not being able to reduce the emissions of atmospheric pollutants, climate change is profoundly altering the pattern of emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants that bring harm to the health of the population.”

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The expert reinforces that, if nothing is done, “we can expect the situation to worsen over the next few years”, impacting the health of millions of people.

“It is an urgent task for society” to combat these greenhouse gas emissions.

However, Artaxo warns that “no government is doing anything significant”, as “science has been warning for 50 years” of the risks of global warming.

“Despite the warnings, Paris Agreement and Climate Agreement conferences, no significant reduction has been made, emissions are still increasing by around 2-4%,” he added.

The professor highlights that reversing this situation is “possible, but difficult.”

The improvement goes through a “change in the consumption pattern of populations, reduction of social inequality, and that the oil industry turns to the production of wind and solar energy.”

He believes that individual actions are important, but the impact will only be mitigated with public policies that encompass the whole of society.

*With production by Isabel Campos

Source: CNN Brasil

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