The strong global impact of ageing populations and climate change

Discussions in relation to issues such as cyber attacks, fiscal crisis, water crisis and geopolitical issues are important.

Issues related to climate change and ageing populations are discussed separately but are equally worthy of attention. This is because the issues related to climate change and ageing populations could potentially impact global growth and performance in future decades.

Although these issues have been discussed on many occasions, the discussions come with a view on the importance of urgent government and corporate actions.

But the real challenge is to move to the next level on an individual basis.

Also, the challenge is to consider the inter- actions between ageing populations and climate change and their impact on global health as well as financial stability.

It looks like these two issues pose a real challenge to the world economy and global fiscal policy.

Ageing populations and climate change are viewed as the major drivers of macro-economic and social change.

In other words, as the lifespan of individuals gets longer, more resources will be used.

When this happens, it will add more pressure on the global environment.

This in turn will influence global climate change. it appears that both ageing populations and climate change are interlinked.

By looking at the relationship between ageing populations and climate change more intensely, most countries are emphasising on providing a better quality life apart from the quantity of life. Today we are witnessing more countries emphasising greater use of non-renewable resources and development approaches that have pushed us beyond many boundaries.

The extent of change in the frequency, intensity and location of extreme weather events due to climate change remains uncertain. The uncertainties about both the costs and benefits from reduced climate change are vast. in addition, uncertainty raises important questions about whether and how much to embark on mitigation activities now as opposed to waiting until at least some uncertainties are resolved.

Economic theory suggests that, in the absence of fixed costs and irreversibilities, society should mitigate (today) to the point where expected marginal costs and benefits are equal.

Meanwhile, it is important to recognise that human health can be affected by a wide range of ecological disruptions, consequent upon climate change. This simple idea that human health and disease are linked to climate probably predates written history.

The more direct impact on health includes those due to changes in exposure to weather extremes (heatwaves, winter cold); increases in other extreme weather events (floods, cyclones, storm-surges, droughts); and increased production of certain air pollutants and aeroallergens (spores and moulds).

Climate change, acting via less direct mechanisms, will affect the transmission of many infectious diseases (especially water, food and vector-borne diseases) and regional food productivity (especially cereal grains).

Companies need to change their business strategies to ensure sustainability and at the same time tap into long-term opportunities when it unfolds.

At the same time, government policies are needed to support corporate and also scientific innovation to ensure that longevity brings rewards to society without increasing global burden.

In the meantime, each one of us can start now to enhance our prospects for healthy lives and a healthy world by taking small steps such as changing our dietary plans, waste less, appreciate the nature more and share the wisdom and knowledge on the relationship between ageing populations and cli- mate change with the emerging generation of leaders.


Source: The Star Online

Available at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/10/09/the-strong-global-impact-of-ageing-populations-and-climate-change/#DohITWbrLl2dVoDD.99

Discussions in relation to issues such as cyber attacks, fiscal crisis, water crisis and geopolitical issues are important.