Lack of response to climate change will threaten both human lives and health systems
The “Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change” was established to evaluate impacts of climate change on health in a global dimension. The 2018 report was produced with 27 leading academic institutions, the UN, and intergovernmental agencies from every continent. The report draws on world-class expertise from climate scientists, ecologists, mathematicians, geographers, engineers, energy, doctors, etc.
- Present day changes in heat waves, labour capacity, vector-borne disease, and food security provide early warning of the compounded and overwhelming impact on public health that are expected if temperatures continue to rise.
- A lack of progress in reducing emissions and building adaptive capacity threatens both human lives and the viability of the national health systems.
- 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.
- Ensuring a widespread understanding of climate change as a central public health issue will be crucial in delivering an accelerated response, with the health profession beginning to rise to this challenge.