As global leaders gear up for a major climate change summit in Scotland next month, researchers from 43 academic institutions and United Nations agencies warn that the world is missing its shot to address the public health impacts of the climate crisis and prepare for future warming.
For the past six years, the medical journal the Lancet has published its annual Countdown report, a comprehensive analysis of the preceding year’s scientific literature on climate change and public health. Last year, the journal’s report said that rising temperatures and emissions threaten to undo 50 years of public health gains from interventions like banning trans fats and restricting cigarette smoking. This year’s major takeaways are no less grim.
The Lancet tracked 44 health indicators that are directly linked to climate change for this year’s report. Three of those indicators — mental wellbeing, the influence of heat on safe physical activity, and pollution related to the consumption of goods and services — are new this year. The report found that the world’s senior citizens collectively experienced 3.1 billion more days of heatwave exposure in 2020 ... Read more