Climate crisis and climate change-related results are among the 13 health challenges for the next 10 years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
"Countries invest heavily in protecting their people from terrorist attacks, but not against the attack of a virus, which could be far more deadly, and far more damaging economically and socially," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO said in a statement on Monday.
Health is an investment in the future, he added.
Defining climate change as one of the 13 challenges for the next decade, the WHO stressed air pollution annually kills an estimated 7 million people, while climate change causes more extreme weather events, and fuels the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria.
"The same emissions that cause global warming are responsible for more than one-quarter of deaths from heart attack, stroke, lung cancer and chronic respiratory disease," it said, adding that the leaders should work together to tackle health impacts of climate change.
The WHO will work on developing a set of policies for governments to stem or reduce the health risks of air pollution during this year, the statement stressed.
Apart from climate change, the WHO listed other challenges for the coming decade: delivering health in conflict and crisis, making health care more fair, expanding access to medicines, stopping infectious diseases, preparing for epidemics, protecting people from dangerous products, investing in people who defend our health, keeping adolescents safe, earning public trust, harnessing new technologies, protecting medicines that protect us, and keeping health care clean.
By Burak Bir