As War Rages in Ukraine, UN Warns of Climate Change's Impact on Mental Health

United Nations Human Rights Council / Getty Images
February 28, 2022

As Russian troops advanced on Ukraine's capital city and Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert, the international agency tasked with maintaining global peace issued a report raising alarm over the threat of climate change, including its effect on mental health.

The Sunday report from the United Nations asserted that much of the world has reached a point of no return in the fight to resist "climate impacts," with nearly half of the global population highly vulnerable to climate change. The panel identified an array of harms it says climate change has already wreaked on vulnerable populations, including damage to mental health resulting from increasing temperatures, extreme weather events, and "loss of livelihoods and culture."

Among policy solutions in the report recommended to combat climate change, the United Nations prioritized government policies to address social inequities, such as discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, age, and income. According to the United Nations, climate impacts exacerbate social inequities, and social inequities exacerbate populations' vulnerability to climate impacts.

The United Nations' efforts to take action on the immediate crisis facing the globe, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, have thus far been ineffective. On Friday, the U.N. Security Council voted in favor of a resolution demanding Russia withdraw its attack, but the measure was vetoed by Russia, a permanent member of the body.

On Sunday, Putin ordered his nuclear forces to enter "special combat readiness" as his army's invasion stalled outside Kiev.

Published under: Russia , Vladimir Putin