Increased hunger due to food yield changes will lead to malnutrition; water scarcity will deteriorate hygiene; pollution will weaken immune systems; and displacement and social disorder due to conflicts over water and land will increase the spread of infectious diseases, they said.By 2050, there could be 70 million additional deaths in sub-Saharan Africa alone, said Tony McMichael, professor of population health at the Australian National University.As mosquito species spread due to climate change, the transmission rate of diseases like malaria will increase, engulfing countries like Zimbabwe from 2025 to 2050.An extra 21 million people in China could be at risk from the infectious disease schistosomiasis as global warming increases floods, enabling disease-carrying water snails to travel to new areas.”Climate change will progressively weaken the Earth’s life support mechanism,” McMichael said. “Health is not just collateral damage on the side, the risk is central and represents a denouement of all the other effects of climate change.”The world’s population is due to exceed 7 billion this month and is forecast to rise to over 10 billion by 2050, putting even more strain on global resources.The effects of climate change will only exacerbate the problems, putting the health of ecosystems, animal species and humans in danger, the experts said.EUROPEHealth effects will not just be felt in Africa or Asia — Europe will also feel the consequences.”The problem of over-consumption in high income countries has produced an ecological and financial debt,” Ian Roberts, professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told Reuters.”The biggest risk to human health is from the rise in fossil fuel use, causing cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer,” he added.Europe will also be at risk from heat waves, floods and more infectious diseases as pests shift to northern latitudes, said Sari Kovats, lead author of the Europe chapter for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report.”The fact is, there is more evidence that diseases are moving north such as bluetongue,” she told Reuters.The IPCC’s next report, which is due out in 2013-2014, will include chapters on human security and livelihoods and poverty for the first time to reflect the new raft of scientific evidence, she added.Human health is not only at risk. Animal and plant species are also endangered.”Many species are already facing a raft of pressures and climate change is creating a new range of additional problems,” said Paul Pearce-Kelly, senior curator at London’s Zoological Society.Around 15 to 37 percent of over 6,000 species of amphibia are predicted to become extinct by 2100, he said.In the Earth’s history, there have been five mass extinctions, but there is now a 10,000-fold faster extinction rate than at any time on record.”We are losing three species an hour, and this is before climate change is doing anything,” said Hugh Montgomery, director at University College London’s institute for human health and performance.
Last week, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters that Sony is in talks to buy Ericsson’s 50 percent stake in the joint venture.The company, which stuck to its outlook for the market, said that it would shift all its production to smartphones during 2012. ($1 = 0.730 Euros)
Trichet, who heads the European Central Bank as well as the continent’s super-watchdog on financial stability, said the euro zone’s EFSF bailout fund should be made as flexible as possible, but without involving the ECB in leveraging it.”Over the past three weeks, the situation has continued to be very demanding. The crisis is systemic and must be tackled decisively,” Trichet told the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.”The high interconnectedness in the EU financial system has led to a rapidly rising risk of significant contagion. It threatens financial stability in the EU as a whole and adversely impacts the real economy in Europe and beyond.”Trichet called for governments and European authorities to act together to solve the crisis, adding that delay would be disastrous.”It is a matter of urgency that all authorities act in unison, with total commitment to safeguarding financial stability,” he said.The ESRB is designed to take a bird’s eye view of Europe’s financial system and flag up any emerging problems for relevant authorities to act on.It has no formal teeth, although if it is not satisfied with authorities’ reactions, it has the option of going public with its fears.RECAPITALISING BANKSTrichet called for a clear decision on recapitalizing banks, saying there was no time to lose.Commercial banks have become increasingly wary of lending to each other, more often turning to the ECB for funding and deposits.Overnight deposits at the 17-country bloc’s central bank shot up to 269 billion euros on Tuesday, the highest since June 2010, indicating eroding trust between banks.The leaders of Germany and France gave investors hope on Sunday night by promising a plan soon to recapitalize Europe’s banks.However, investors remain cautious due to the lack of detail about the plan, and the risk that a solution may be derailed by an event such as political deadlock in Slovakia, the one euro country that has yet to approve the EFSF expansion.”The banking sector in Europe needs recapitalization, that is part of our message,” Trichet said.”Decisions have to be taken and taken very rapidly, I expect this decision to be taken as rapidly as possible.”Turning to the role of the European bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), he said it could play an important role.”Supervisors must coordinate efforts to strengthen bank capital, including having recourse to backstop facilities, and also taking into account the need for a transparent and consistent valuation of sovereign exposures,” he said.”The possibility for the EFSF to lend to governments in order to recapitalize banks — including, if necessary, in non-program countries — could be of benefit here,” he said.But while calling for the fund to be “as flexible as possible”, he rejected using the ECB to leverage it, adding that governments had all the means necessary to leverage it without involving the central bank.