Our Impact

The Lancet Countdown operates across research, policy and communications to ensure that our work is reaching decision-makers and having real impact. Our team and local partners work hard to ensure that policymakers around the world recognise the links between climate change and health, and support them to accelerate their response to our changing environment.

Engaging policymakers in health and climate change

Recent Lancet Countdown policy engagement includes:

  • Lancet Countdown research on the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation assisted the Canadian government in gaining public and political support for the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which came into effect in January 2019.
  • In November 2019 US politician Hillary Clinton, Leader of the UK Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, and Green Party UK MP Caroline Lucas shared Lancet Countdown report findings on social media.
  • The work of the Lancet Countdown was cited by Al Gore at the October 2019 C40 Global Mayor’s Summit.
  • 2019 Lancet Countdown report launch events were attended by several senior policymakers including Dag-Inge Ulstein (Minister of International Development, Norway) and Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson (Chairwoman of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology).

Shaping public awareness of how climate change affects health

The Lancet Countdown has helped shaped public understanding of the importance of climate change, by raising awareness of how a changing environment and rising emissions are affecting human health.

Each year we work closely with leading media outlets to make our data relatable to people everywhere.

Lancet Countdown research has been reported on in every major news outlet around the world including:

The New York Times, Time, National Geographic, CBBC, The Economist, New Scientist, The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, BBC, CNN, USA Today, Sky News, Daily Mirror (front cover), New Scientist, Financial Times, CNBC, El Pais, The Independent, Times of India, Vox, Vice, Wired, 7 News, Folha de S.Paulo, The Globe and Mail, NBC News, AP News, Le Monde, France 24, Clarin, China Global Television Network, Corriere della Sera, Al Jazeera, Reuters, La Repubblica, Evening Standard, South China Morning Post, Jamaica Observer, Deutsche Welle, Huffpost, Scientific American, ABC and El Espectador.

See a sum up of recent media coverage here.

Providing the evidence to enable the medical profession to engage in climate change

The work of the Lancet Countdown provided the scientific evidence to support the commitments of several health institutions around the world to divest from fossil fuels.

These included the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK who cited data from a 2018 Lancet Countdown paper on the health benefits from the UK’s Climate Change Act in their announcement to divest.

The World Medical Association, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Canadian Medical Association, the UK Faculty of Public Health, and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine also explicitly made reference to Lancet Countdown work as evidence that compelled them to divest.

Supporting the NHS to become the world's first 'net zero' health system

As  the most established health system in the world, and the UK’s biggest employer, the NHS produces an estimated 4-5% of the country’s carbon footprint.

In January 2020 the NHS announced its commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions ahead of 2050. The Lancet Countdown team is providing scientific and technical input on the emissions reduction strategy, and The NHS net zero task force who are leading the development of a plan to achieve a ‘greener NHS’ is chaired by Lancet Countdown Executive Director, Dr Nick Watts.

Professor Hilary Graham and Dr Michael Davies, co-authors of the Lancet Countdown report, and Dr Isobel Braithwaite, co-author of the 2019 Lancet Countdown briefing for UK policymakers, are also part of the task force.

Read more about the ‘Greener NHS’ strategy and campaign here.