May 16, 2022

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We need a rapid environmental and energy transition.”

The ISDE Society of Physicians for the Environment urges a rapid start and end to the environmental and energy transition: “The warnings of science and nature are clear and require immediate action.”

“The very serious signs of the climate crisis alone should lead to an immediate cessation of the ongoing war and accelerate actions needed to drastically reduce all climate-changing emissions – so in the Isde-Assciazione Medici per l’Ambiente note.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body for scientific assessments of climate change, is a “terrible warning about the consequences of inaction.” It shows that climate change is a serious and growing threat to our well-being and the health of our planet.”[1]. We face increasingly troubling questions regarding the severity, unpredictability and irreversibility of extreme events already underway (melting glaciers, severe droughts, widespread fires, floods, and water and food shortages). The recent news from Antarctica deserved close attention, as a maximum temperature of -11.5 meters above sea level was recorded at the base of Dom Concordia, at 3,234 meters above sea level, nearly 40 degrees Celsius above normal . March and the highest value ever recorded since the surveys started[2]. There was also exceptional heat in the Arctic, with temperatures recorded 18-20°C above typical averages for that period, with subsequent thaws around the Svalbard islands (100,000 km² in less than a week!). The anticyclone that prevented the hot and humid air directed to Greenland from the area of ​​low pressure is the same that also affected Western Europe and is responsible for the severe drought in many Italian and European cities.”

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“Globally, between 2000 and 2019, 5,083,173 deaths each year were associated with suboptimal ambient temperatures, and about 12 million people were forced to be displaced each year by floods and droughts while the profitability of the land that provides essential food products is diminishing.[3] Isde continues – The heavy burden of mortality associated with atmospheric pollution and the climate crisis requires the immediate preparation of strategies to reduce the current impacts and prevent a potential crisis exacerbation. The Minds for OneHealth working group has already produced some analysis documents for the situation and prepared several technical papers with operational proposals on various topics supported by scientific data and useful to decision makers. The following proposals focus on accelerating the energy transition to mitigate the effects of ongoing conflict[4]. There are two important pillars for efficient environmental and energy transition: people’s participation, active core themes of savings policies, and “adequate infrastructure” in the zero emissions scenario by 2050, both physical (territorial reorganization, cycle paths…) and legislative (strict building regulations, determining the number and weight of individual vehicles, etc.)[5]”.

Reducing energy demand through efficiency and efficiency

“The indicator comes directly from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which has calculated that some immediate action in advanced economies, which accounts for about 45% of global oil demand, but is extendable to more countries, could reduce oil demand by 2.7 million. barrels per day over the next four months The International Energy Agency is proposing 10 immediate measures in the transport sector, including nine measures to suffice and one to increase technological efficiency[6] – Isde clarifies – We remind you that adequacy and efficiency measures are equally possible in all sectors such as food/agriculture, industrial production, healthcare, etc. The previously described energy gains will be doubled.”

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Renewable sources immediately

“We believe that energy independence through reduced consumption and a parallel rapid increase in the part of renewable energy is the only possible way to avoid the deterioration of the Italian industrial and agricultural system and with it the entire social system of our country. – Isde adds – the availability of clean energy sufficient for the basic needs and available to all inhabitants of the planet is the key factor. which makes it possible to create a harmonious and peaceful society, where individual freedom and human rights are respected.We believe that the removal of fossil fuels from the Italian energy system must now be pursued rapidly and that this is possible in a relatively short time.[8] Especially if it is accompanied by a reduction in energy requirements for heating and cooling buildings, by means of electrification of transport, public and private (for the still necessary part), as well as by the recovery and recycling of mineral resources used in all operations, as well as from education to a circular economy in all sectors of activity “.

“The path taken by the government to simplify bureaucratic procedures is correct, while ensuring the protection of the environment, the landscape and the crops remains – still the link – we demand immediate connection to the network of new renewable energy production plants, with priority given to those on existing infrastructure or already degraded land and not recoverable energy, and the possibility of recovering energy fed into the grid without additional costs.Moreover, measures are needed to facilitate local factories, cooperatives, renewable energy (CER) communities and factories on an industrial scale with emissions close to zero. Above all, we ask that priority be given To produce renewable energy from technologies whose efficiency is known and proven to be effective, without wasting resources on inefficient technologies, technologies that have not yet been tested on an industrial scale, or even that are not truly renewable.The described procedures, which act positively on atmospheric pollution, also have the advantage producing co-benefits for health and climate crisis, and are feasible in a timely manner and at limited costs, so we are confident that they can undergo serious evaluation.”

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[1] https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/

[2] https://www.lamma.rete.toscana.it/news/dallartide-allantartide-eventi-senza-precedenti

[3] Chi Chao and others. Global, regional and national mortality burden associated with suboptimal ambient temperatures from 2000 to 2019: a three-stage modeling study. www.thelancet.com/planetary-health Vol. 5 July 2021. The 2021 report from The Lancet Countdown to Health and Climate Change: A red symbol for a healthy future.

[4] https://www.scienzainrete.it/Articolo/proposte-pnrr-di-gruppo-di-docenti-ricercatori-ed-esperti-ambiente-e-salute/mind-one-health

[5] Erba, S., Pagliano, L., 2021. Combining sufficiency, efficiency, and flexibility to achieve goals of positive energy zones. Energies 14, 4697.

[6] https://www.iea.org/reports/a-10-point-plan-to-cut-oil-use

[8] https://energypost.eu/a-massive-expansion-of-domestic-renewable-energy-stops-wars-not-just-climate-change/

Here is the complete document with the signatories