Monday, July 02, 2007

Up with Pedal Power

As personal income levels rise in Asian countries, so does the increasing reliance on automobiles to move about. The World Health Organization sees bicycle riding and other lifestyle changes as vital to dealing with global climate issues, as well as pollution that is endangering Asia's overall health. Climate change is already having a devastating impact in Asian countries.

Climate change contributes directly or indirectly to about 77,000 deaths per year in the region, according to WHO estimates.

"So far the impact is on the health of the people. If the trend continues, it may have an impact on the economy," said Shigeru Omi, WHO's regional director for the Western Pacific.

"Of course the threat is there. We should not wait for that to happen," he told reporters at the start of a four-day conference on the impact of climate change and health in Southeast and East Asian countries.

Omi said urgent action was needed because Asia's share of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are expected to grow larger with the rapid economic expansion of China and India.

For more details, read the full article, UN calls for pedal power to reduce environmental damage.