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February 28, 2020

A Low-Carbon Future Could Improve Global Health and Achieve Economic Benefits

Author Affiliations
  • 1Global Health Institute, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 2Department of Population Health Sciences; and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 3Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, New York
JAMA. 2020;323(13):1247-1248. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1313

The 25th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid ended in December 2019, with disappointingly little progress. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres lamented, “The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate crisis.”

This political gridlock has occurred despite scientific reports that have highlighted the urgency of actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel burning and large-scale deforestation. The planet has warmed approximately 2 °F since preindustrial times, and 2019 was the second warmest year on record.1

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