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Climate Change: Bush fires and deteriorating air quality in Australia

"Countdown on Health and Climate Change" report in The Lancet says that climate change is not only damaging the planet but also putting people’s health at risk. Australia will be particularly impacted by climate change as the intensity of weather-related disasters increases.

The report highlights the continued burning of fossil fuels has resulted in an increase in dangerous air pollution levels. That's resulted in 2600 premature deaths of children in 2016 alone - with air quality expected to continue to deteriorate and respiratory problems to increase, unless coal is phased out.

Rising temperatures will also impact food production, result in more infectious diseases and worsen the mental and physical health of Australians.

Dr Ying Zhang is a University of Sydney lecturer and the co-author of the report says Australia will be particularly impacted by climate change as the intensity of weather-related disasters increases.

"We have found that (there will be an) increased exposure to extreme weather events including heatwaves and bushfires and we found Australia is vulnerable to climate change and unfortunately very little has changed since our last report in adaptation to the adverse exposures and there is also a lack of federal government leadership in fighting against climate change."

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