This 2017 report provides an overview of the impact of climate change on public health. While the delayed response to climate change over the past two decades has jeopardised human life and livelihoods, the past 5 years have seen an accelerated response, with momentum building across many sectors. Tackling climate change has clear and unprecedented opportunities to improve public health.
The Lancet Countdown tracks progress on health and climate change and provides an independent assessment of the health effects of climate change, the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and the health implications of these actions. It follows on from the work of the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change, which concluded that anthropogenic climate change threatens to undermine the past 50 years of gains in public health, and conversely, that a comprehensive response to climate change could be “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century”.