12 million people in the UK face serious health problems – or potentially even death – from extreme weather caused by the climate crisis, a study has warned.
Two months ago, a Lancet report on the climate crisis and human health found that over the past two decades, there had been a 54 per cent increase in heat-related deaths in people over 65, the age group most vulnerable to heatwaves. Those with conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are particularly vulnerable to summer heatwaves, the report says. The study authors calculated that just under 12 million people in the UK are “dangerously vulnerable” to future summer heatwaves, .
The new report, from the Climate Coalition and the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds, says about 1.8 million people in the UK live in areas at significant risk of flooding – a number that could rise to 2.6 million in 17 years. As well as the immediate risk of death and injury, having their home flooded leaves people at risk of suffering mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Flood victims have been found to be up to four times more likely on average to suffer mental health issues, including depression, anxiety or PTSD, than those unaffected by flooding.