The 2019 Report

An unprecedented challenge demands an unprecedented response.

Our 2019 Report tracks the relationship between health and climate change across five key domains and 41 indicators. See an overview of the 2019 key findings below, or download the full report.

Download the report

Key Message

The life of every child born today will be profoundly affected by climate change, with populations around the world increasingly facing extremes of weather, food and water insecurity, changing patterns of infectious disease, and a less certain future. Without accelerated intervention, this new era will come to define the health of people at every stage of their lives.

Key Message

A second path – which limits the global average temperature rise to “well below 2ºC” – is possible, and would transform the health of a child born today for the better, throughout their lives. Placing health at the centre of the coming transition will yield enormous dividends for the public and the economy, with cleaner air, safer cities, and healthier diets.

Key Message

Bold new approaches to policy making, research, and business are needed in order to change course. An unprecedented challenge demands an unprecedented response. It will take the work of the 7.5 billion people currently alive to ensure that the health of a child born today is not defined by a changing climate.

Explore key findings of the 2019 report

Icon_1_Green Created with Sketch.

Climate Change Impacts, Exposures and Vulnerability

Tracking the health impacts of climate change

A changing climate has profound implications for human health, with more frequent heatwaves and extreme weather events, changing patterns of infectious disease, and the exacerbation of existing health challenges around the world. Indicators in this section measure how these impact on human health.

Icons Final_Green-03 Created with Sketch.

Adaptation, Planning, and Resilience for Health

Adaptation, Planning, and Resilience for Health

Indicators in this section track how communities, health systems, and governments are understanding the health risks of climate change, the strategies and resources they are deploying, and how adaptation and resilience measures are being implemented globally.

Icons Final_Green_v2-03 Created with Sketch.

Mitigation Actions and Health Co-Benefits

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Indicators in this section track the world’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the health improvements that result from these interventions.

Icons Final_Green_v2-05 Created with Sketch.

Economics and Finance

Economics and Finance

Indicators in this section track the economic costs of climate change and its drivers, and the investments and economic tools being used to transition to a low-carbon economy.

Icons Final_Green_v2-06 Created with Sketch.

Public and Political Engagement

Public and Political Engagement

Public and political engagement underpins the foundations of our collective response to climate change. The indicators in this sector track this engagement in the media, national governments, the corporate sector, and the broader public.

  • Icon_1_Green Created with Sketch. Climate Change Impacts, Exposures and Vulnerability
    • 1.1.3 Exposure of Vulnerable Populations To Heatwaves

      In 2018, 220 million more heatwave exposures affecting older populations were observed – 11 million more than the previous record set in 2015, increasing risk of heart stress, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke.

    • 1.2.1 Wildfires

      152 out of 196 countries saw increases in populations exposed to wildfires from the early 2000s to present day. India alone experienced an annual daily population wildfire exposure increase of 21.8 million.

    • 1.4.1 Climate Suitability for Infectious Disease Transmission

      Vectorial capacity for the transmission of dengue was 2nd highest on record in 2017, with 9 of the 10 most suitable years occurring since 2000. The average increase above the 1950s baseline was 7.2% for Aedes aegypti and 9.8% for A. albopictus.

    • 1.5 Food Security and Undernutrition

      Crop growth season duration has reduced by 2.9% for maize, 3.8% for winter wheat and 3.1% for soybean crops from 1988 to 2017, with potential implications for global undernutrition.

  • Icons Final_Green-03 Created with Sketch. Adaptation, Planning, and Resilience for Health
    • 2.1.3 City-Level Climate Change Risk Assessments

      54% of global cities surveyed in 2018 expected climate change to seriously compromise their public health infrastructure.

    • 2.2 Climate Information Services for Health

      The number of countries providing climate services to the health sector increased from 55 in 2018 to 70 in 2019.

    • 2.3.1 Detection, Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies

      109 countries have medium to high levels of national implementation of a responsive health emergency framework – helping them respond to disease outbreaks, air pollution, extreme temperatures, droughts, floods and storms.

    • 2.4 Spending on Adaptation for Health and Health-Related Activities

      In 2018, global health adaptation spending increased by 11.2%, reaching 5% of total climate change adaptation spending.

  • Icons Final_Green_v2-03 Created with Sketch. Mitigation Actions and Health Co-Benefits
    • 3.1.1 Carbon Intensity of the Energy System

      The carbon intensity of the global energy system has remained flat since 1990.

    • 3.2 Access and Use of Clean Energy

      Almost 3 billion people live without access to clean cooking fuels and technologies, and the use of safe and healthy technologies usage remains at just 7.5% of households in low-income countries.

    • 3.5 Food, Agriculture and Health

      Red meat from ruminants contributed 3 GtCO2e in 2016 – 93% of total livestock emissions. Plant-rich diets could improve health and help reduce GHG emissions.

    • 3.6 Mitigation in the Healthcare Sector

      Global healthcare sector greenhouse gas emissions were 4.6% of the global total emissions in 2016.

  • Icons Final_Green_v2-05 Created with Sketch. Economics and Finance
    • 4.1 Economic Losses due to Climate-Related Extreme Events

      In 2018, 831 climate-related extreme events resulted in US$166 billion in economic losses and no measurable losses in low-income countries were covered by insurance.

    • 4.2 Economic Costs of Air Pollution

      In Europe improvements in particulate air pollution from human activity were seen from 2015 to 2016. If the levels of pollution for these two years remained the same over a person’s lifetime, this would lead to an annual average reduction in Years of Life Lost worth €5.2 billion saved.

    • 4.3.2 Investments in Zero-Carbon Energy and Energy Efficiency

      In 2018, investments in zero-carbon energy were 20% of total investments in the global energy system. By 2030 zero-carbon energy investments must account for at least 65% of total annual investments.

    • 4.3.4 Funds Divested from Fossil Fuels

      US$2.135 trillion new funds were committed to fossil fuel divestment in 2018. Health institutions accounted for around US$66.5 million of this.

    • 4.4.1 Fossil Fuel Subsidies

      In 2018, fossil fuel consumption subsidies increased to US$427 billion – over a third higher than 2017 levels, and over 50% higher than 2016 levels.

  • Icons Final_Green_v2-06 Created with Sketch. Public and Political Engagement
    • 5.2 Individual Engagement in Health and Climate Change

      Individuals typically seek information about either health OR climate change. Where they seek information across these areas, it is primarily driven by an initial interest in health-related content.

    • 5.3 Government Engagement in Health and Climate Change

      National leaders are increasingly drawing attention to health and climate change at the UN General Debate. This trend has been led by small island developing states, who comprised of 36% of the total countries referencing health and climate change in 2018.

Need all the details? Download the full report

News & Events

View all

event

18/12/2019

Lancet Countdown 2019 Oman Launch Event

Details of the Lancet Countdown 2019 Oman Launch Event

Read more

news

27/11/2019

2019 Report Launch Round-up: Global Media Coverage, Engagement and Events

The 2019 report made the headlines of all major news outlets across the globe and was shared widely by high level individuals including Hillary Clinton and Leonardo Di Caprio. Read the roundup here.

Read more
Now Hiring - Vacancies

news

14/10/2019

Vacancies: We Are Looking For Three Research Fellows To Join Our Growing Team!

Want to join our team and work on groundbreaking climate change and health research? We are looking for three more Research Fellows to join the Lancet Countdown!

Read more
we're hiring

news

05/06/2019

We’re Hiring! Two Research Fellow Positions Are Now Open For Application

We're Hiring! We are looking for two Research Fellows to join the Lancet Countdown.

Read more