Two in five young Germans feel effects of climate change on health – survey
Clean Energy Wire
More than 40 percent of young Germans say that climate change has negative effects on their mental and physical health, according to a survey by health insurance company vivida bkk. Of the 14 to 34 year olds surveyed, 41 percent said they feel the effects of climate change on their bodies. The majority of those affected, 83 percent, say they suffer physically from increasing extreme weather conditions, with many also mentioning circulatory problems and allergies.
However, it’s not just physical health—climate change is increasingly impacting the mental health of young people, the insurer said. More than three quarters of respondents said that climate change was causing them psychological distress, up from just under a half four years ago. "This illustrates that so-called climate anxiety is now a widespread phenomenon among young people," said the insurer’s sustainability expert Frauke Tzscheutschler. "At a stage when young adults are intensively planning their future, many fear that climate change will affect their quality of life."
As a result of increasing temperatures and heat waves, evidence and awareness of the health impacts of climate change have grown rapidly in recent years. Earlier this year, RKI called on Germany to prepare for the spread of new infectious diseases. “Notwithstanding the increase in life expectancy [in Germany], the effects of global climate change are increasingly becoming an important risk factor for health,” said the German Status Report on Climate Change and Health.