Countries facing greatest health impacts of climate change revealed

The alarming league table paints a worrying picture of the medium-term future as environmental crisis takes its toll on the global population.

doctors doing surgery inside emergency room

The research, produced by MedicalAid, ranked Iran, Equatorial Guinea, Morocco, Mongolia and Turkmenistan as the nations now suffering the worst public health fallout from climate change. Measurement was based on a number of aspects, from the safety of drinking water and sanitation, to exposure to ozone, lead, and volatile organic compounds. The bottom 20 also included Bahrain, Ewatini, South Africa, Azerbaijan, China, Botswana, Indonesia, UAE, Angola, Kazakhstan, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, and Namibia.

By comparison, using the same criteria for assessment, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and the United Kingdom came out as countries experiencing the lowest level of health impact from the environmental crisis. All except Sweden scored full marks for water safety, while air quality and exposure to PM2.5 fine particulate matter was only identified as a significant problem in the UK and Ireland.

Overall, 11 of the world’s 20 healthiest environments for humans to inhabit were found in Europe, with Norway, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, and the Netherlands making the cut. The top 20 best performing nations also featured Mauritius, Uruguay, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Chile, Tonga, and Israel.

While this will no doubt be welcomed by governments in the territories that ranked positively, some may be surprised at the results of certain calculations. As Environment Journal has reported on extensively this year, in the UK, while drinking water standards remain high, a deluge of sewage spills and other water pollution events have had a devastating impact on wildlife in marine areas, including those that are protected by law.



Image: Natanael Melchor


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