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Lancet Countdown 2023. Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023.

Today, just one day before the start of COP28, and due to the opportunity this represents, for the first time an article that focuses on health.

The medical journal The Lancet, one of the oldest and well respected publication on medicine and health in the world, released a few days ago its 8th annual Countdown on Health and Climate Change report.

With plenty of concerns.

According to the press release, "Climate inaction is costing lives and livelihoods today, with new global projections revealing the grave and mounting threat to health of further delayed action on climate change. But bold climate action could offer a lifeline for health".

The report "tracks the relationship between health and climate change across five key domains and 47 indicators, providing the most up-to-date assessment of the links between health and climate change".

One of the findings of the report is that scientific evidence is increasing, with three times more scientific articles investigating the links between health and climate change in 2022, compared to 2012. In addition to 95% of the Paris Agreement's updated Nationally Determined Contributions now referencing to health – up from 73% in 2020.

Here some highlights, quoted ipsis literis from the interactive summary:

- Heat-related deaths of people over age 65 increased by 85% from 2000-2004 ...

- …. more than twice the increase expected if temperatures had not changed.

- Heat exposure-related loss in labour capacity resulted in average potential income losses equivalent to $863 billion in 2022. Agricultural workers were most affected.

- Compared with 1981–2010, the higher frequency of heatwave days and drought months was associated with 127 million more people experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity in 2021.

- The transmission potential for dengue by Aedes aegypti and albopictus increased by 28.6% and 27.7% respectively…

- … and 12.7% more of the coastline was suitable for Vibrio transmission in 2022 than in 1982-2010, putting a record 1.4 billion people at risk.

- Only 70% of countries reported a high level of implementation of health emergency management capacities, with big inequalities between Human Development Index country groups…

- … and 27% of surveyed cities declared concerns over their health systems being overwhelmed by climate change.

- ….heat-related deaths are projected to increase by 370%.

- ….heat-related labour loss is projected to increase by 50%.

- ….524.9 million additional people are projected to experience moderate to severe food insecurity.

- While modern renewables contribute to 11% of the electricity produced in the wealthier countries…

- …..they account for only 2.3% of that in the most underserved ones.

- Due to the persistent use of polluting fuels, household air pollution led on average to 140 deaths per 100,000 across 62 countries in 2020.

- … and fuel-derived air pollution caused 1.9 million deaths in 2020 alone…

- … deaths that we could have prevented by transitioning to clean, renewable energy.

And there is more. Much more bitter and scaring conclusions based on data and scientific assessments (one of the hardest reports we read so far).

Click here for the press release and at the image below for a great interactive summary of the key findings of the Lancet report, which can be fully accessible here, upon registration.

Need energy and inspiration? Look for this film or this short video:

- "The Global Goals | Halftime 2023". Video presented in the last UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York. (Note: In the original film "Any Other Sunday", by Oliver Stone 1999, Cameron Diaz owns the team and Al Pacino is the coach. He encourages the team to revert the result of the game at halftime).

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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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