By Ugo Di Francesco, CEO
After a summer of wildfires and flooding in Europe and further afield, we’re increasingly aware of the devastating impacts of climate change. Yet whilst the immediate effects of higher temperatures and extreme weather events are becoming clear, we are not considering how far-reaching their consequences could be – and how they are already affecting us all.
A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by Chiesi – Climate change and its impact on lung health: a focus on Europe – highlights the hidden crisis in this climate conversation, namely the impact on respiratory health. Respiratory health is already the third leading cause of death worldwide and these issues are set to worsen. Increasing ozone levels, heatwaves and pollen levels due to climate change are just a few factors which could cause serious problems. The report shows how the most vulnerable are at risk, for example the elderly, children whose lungs are still developing, lower socioeconomic groups and those with underlying health conditions. But climate change can also lead to the onset of conditions among previously healthy individuals.
The alarming findings make it clear that the climate crisis is a health crisis. As a B Corp and leader in respiratory health, Chiesi understands that protecting patient health and the environment cannot be a matter of compromise – the two are inextricably linked. This Chiesi-commissioned report reinforces our mission to not only treat the symptoms of the crisis through our products, but also to address the root causes by improving our own environmental and social impact. And it adds evidence and urgency to our robust sustainability commitments, which set out our pathway to reaching carbon neutrality on scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2035 as announced earlier this year.
But no one can act alone to prevent this major health catastrophe. We believe that policymakers must work to prioritise respiratory health in the fight against climate change; the two crises must be treated together without delay so that all stakeholders are engaged in the design of climate policies. Companies must also take meaningful, measurable and independently verified actions so that they are held accountable for delivering on their commitments.
We must all work together to mitigate this crisis before it’s too late – we invite our peers, individuals and policymakers to join us in fighting this climate health crisis and prioritising #ActionOverWords.
For more information about the tangible steps that businesses, policymakers and individuals can take, the EIU’s report and Chiesi’s sustainability commitments, follow the #ActionOverWords campaign and visit: www.actionoverwords.org