Cover of Frederica Perera: Children's Health and the Peril of Climate Change

Frederica Perera Children's Health and the Peril of Climate Change

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Oxford University Press


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Today, approximately two billion children breathe toxic air at levels exceeding standards set by the World Health Organization, causing immediate and long-term physical and mental health effects. Nearly every child around the world is at risk from at least one climate-related shock such as severe heat, flooding, drought, air pollution, forest fires, water scarcity, and displacement. Air pollution and climate change, largely driven by emissions from fossil fuel, are widening inequality in children's health. From urban centers in the United States to remote villages in the furthest corners of Asia, we are seeing the effects of our inaction on climate change affecting the next generation--even those still in utero. The global transition away from fossil fuel to a low carbon economy creates a major opportunity for the health and future of our children, but only if we all take action. Children's Health and the Peril of Climate Change brings to light the mental and physical harms to children's health inflicted by climate change and its root cause--our addiction to fossil fuel. Drawing on the author's extensive expertise in children's environmental health, this essential and thought-provoking text exposes the unique vulnerability of the developing child and the multiple and synergistic effects of climate change and air pollution on child health, especially for disadvantaged children. However, it also shows how all children, regardless of their generational wealth or birth country, are imperiled by climate change. While this book provides specific evidence for the escalating dangers of climate change, it also presents a roadmap to a brighter future with case studies of climate change and air pollution policies that have benefitted children's health and the economy. Through facts and compelling storytelling, Frederica Perera shares the growing power of advocacy by youth, environmental justice, and Indigenous groups. She describes the many solutions now available, highlighting the need for integrated climate and social policies to accelerate the transition into a zero-carbon future. Leveraging the universally shared value of protecting children, Children's Health and the Peril of Climate Change is a call to action to replace denial and despair around climate change with purpose and commitment for a healthier, more sustainable future.

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