Posted on 29 November 2018
The Lancet Countdown Report tracks climate change and health over time and monitors commitments made by governments under the Paris Climate Agreement.
The 2018 report notes that:
Despite the mounting health risks, there has been a lack of progress in reducing fossil fuel emissions - the major driver of climate change - and in strengthening systems to cope with its health impacts.
However, the authors note promising trends, including continued investment in renewable energy -with 157 gigawatts off renewable energy installed in 2017, over twice the additional 70GW of fossil fuel capacity - and increased investment in the adaptation of health systems.
At the same time, the health dimensions of climate change are receiving greater coverage by scientists, the media and at the global forum of the UN:
Professor Hilary Graham, from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, said “The health impacts we are seeing today are early warnings of the dangers that lie ahead if global temperatures continue to rise. How current generations respond will determine the conditions for the health of our children and the generations to come.’
The annual report involves 27 leading academic institutions, the UN, and intergovernmental agencies from every continent, drawing on expertise from climate scientists, ecologists, mathematicians, geographers, engineers, energy, food, livestock, and transport experts, economists, social and political scientists, public health professionals, and doctors.
The report tracks 41 indicators across five areas: climate change impacts, exposures, and vulnerability; adaptation, planning, and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; finance and economics; and public and political engagement.
Professor Graham added “Despite delays, some sectors are embarking on a low-carbon transition, which is a promising sign. It is clear that the nature and scale of the response to climate change will be the determining factor in shaping the health of nations for centuries to come.”