European Launch of the 2020 Lancet Countdown Report

A week ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, the 2020 Report of the Lancet Countdown will discuss the latest evidence on how climate change is undermining the foundations of good health, as well as detailing the health benefits of a rapid and robust response to climate change.

The European Union (EU) has increased its climate ambition in recent years, ratifying the 2015 Paris Agreement and committing to the second phase of the Kyoto protocol. Most notably, as the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, the EU has pledged in the European Green Deal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. By reducing impacts from climate change on public health, Europe has the opportunity to safeguard the health of generations to come.

This event will explore the findings of the 2020 Report of the Lancet Countdown in the European context, bringing together leading academics and policymakers with wide-ranging experience and expertise. Speakers will share views on how to build back better whilst preparing to meet net-zero emissions by 2050.

If you missed the event you can watch the recording here:


Agenda and speakers


Opening remarks: Prof. Anthony Costello, Professor of Global Health and Sustainable Development at University College London and co-chair of the Lancet Countdown

New findings: Confronting the health impacts of climate change – the 2020 report of the Lancet Countdown in a European Context: Prof. Ian Hamilton, Executive Director the Lancet Countdown and reader in Energy Epidemiology University College London.

Panel discussion – Climate Change and Health in Europe


  • Professor Sabine Gabrysch, Professor for Climate Change and Health, Charité Berlin and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
  • Professor Hilary Graham, Professor Health Sciences University of York
  • Professor Jan Semenza, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Office of the Chief Scientist
  • Professor Ian Hamilton, Executive Director the Lancet Countdown, and reader in Energy Epidemiology UCL

Moderated by:

  • Professor Anthony Costello, Professor of Global Health and Sustainable Development at University College London and co-chair of the Lancet Countdown


Health in the context of climate change adaptation: the urban perspective: Aleksandra Kazmierczak, Expert in environment, human health, and well-being at European Environment Agency (EEA)

The Lancet Countdown Policy Brief to the European Union: Kim van Daalen, author Lancet Countdown Brief for EU Policy Makers 2020 and PhD Candidate Cambridge University

Panel discussion – Climate Change Action: Inspiring a Healthy and Sustainable Recovery from COVID-19


  • Dr Martin Balzan, Rapporteur on Environmental Health, the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)
  • Anne Stauffer, Director of Strategy and Campaigns Health and Environment Alliance
  • Dr Aleksandra Kazmierczak, Expert in Environment, Human Health, and Well-being at European Environment Agency (EEA)
  • Rashmi Venkatraman, DrPH candidate LSHTM and Project Director – ACCESS and PROTECT at Internews

Moderated by:

Professor Anthony Costello, Professor of Global Health and Sustainable Development at University College London and co-chair of the Lancet Countdown

Closing remarks: Oliver Schmoll, Programme Manager Water and Climate, European Centre for Environment and Health, World Health Organization Europe


Speakers biographies

Prof. Anthony Costello

Professor Anthony Costello is a co-chair of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change. Anthony Costello studied medicine and psychology at Cambridge University and trained in paediatrics. He has worked as a doctor in the NHS, as a professor of international child health and director of the Institute for Global Health at University College London, and as a director of the department of maternal, child and adolescent health at the World Health Organisation. For 20 years he worked with women’s sympathy groups in the UK, Bangladesh, India, Malawi and Nepal. He has contributed to papers on health economics, health systems, child development, nutrition and infectious disease, and managing the health effects of climate change.


Prof. Ian Hamilton

Professor Ian Hamilton is the Executive Director of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change and is an Associate Professor in Energy Epidemiology at the UCL Energy Institute, University College London. Ian’s research background is focused on the nexus of climate change, energy and health in the built environment. Ian is the Principal Investigator for the International Energy Agency’s Annex 70 – Building Energy Epidemiology, a Co-Investigator on the UKRI Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions, the NERC funded APEx London Air Pollution and ANTICIPATE projects, and Newton funded Capability and Energy Poverty in Mexico project. Ian is the UCL lead for the IEA and UNEP Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction initiative.


Prof. Sabine Gabrysch 

Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Sabine Gabrysch is Professor for Climate Change and Health at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Department head at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). After studying medicine in Germany and working as a medical doctor in Sweden, she completed an MSc and PhD in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She previously led the Unit of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health. Her research is guided by the transdisciplinary concept of Planetary Health and focuses on maternal and child health in low-income settings, in particular early life malnutrition. She holds an Honorary Professorship at LSHTM and continues her affiliation with HIGH.


Prof. Hilary Graham

Professor Hilary Graham has a background in sociology and social policy. Prior to coming to the Department of Health Sciences at York, she held positions at the University of Warwick and Lancaster University. She has a track-record of research concerned with social inequalities in health, with a particular focus on health-related behaviours. Hilary is an Associate Director of the new ESRC Centre for Climate and Social Transformations led by the University of Cardiff. Her current research is exploring the implications of climate change for people’s health and everyday lives. Hilary Graham is part of the Lancet Countdown and coordinates the group tracking public and political engagement in health and climate change.


Prof. Jan Semenza

Professor Jan C. Semenza directs the work on environmental and social determinants of infectious diseases at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm.   He was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  He also worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and conducted public health projects in Uzbekistan, Sudan, Egypt, Denmark, Brazil, and Haiti.  Professor Semenza taught epidemiology and environmental health in the Oregon Masters Program of Public Health.  His research has been published in high-impact journals such as Cell, New England J of Medicine, Lancet ID, Science, Nature Climate Change and in several books.


Dr. Aleksandra Kazmierczak

Dr. Aleksandra Kazmierczak is an expert in environment, human health and well-being at the European Environment Agency with a focus on environmental health inequalities. She has previously specialised in urban and social aspects of adaptation to climate change. Before joining EEA, dr. Kazmierczak carried out research work in the field of human geography and spatial planning at University of Manchester and Cardiff University, UK.


Ms. Kim van Daalen

Kim is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Cambridge, where her research focuses on environmental metal pollution. She holds a BSc in biomedical sciences (Summa Cum Laude) combined with an interdisciplinary honors program from Utrecht University and a master’s in Public Health from the University of Cambridge. She did part of a master’s in stem cell biology with an interdisciplinary honors program before moving into Public Health (1/2yrs). Her interest is in environmental epidemiology and health inequalities. She is currently working for the Lancet Countdown as consultant for Europe and was lead-author on the Policy Brief to the EU.


Ms. Rashmi Venkatraman

Ms. Rashmi Venkatraman is a public health professional, with experience working in primary health care, international public health and not for profit sectors on various health projects, programs, policy and advocacy. She was selected for Homeward Bound, which brought together female leaders in STEMM to focus on leadership and climate action culminating in a 21-day expedition to Antarctica. She currently is a Doctor of Public Health candidate at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Dr. Martin Balzan

Dr. Martin Balzan is a consultant respiratory physician at Mater Dei Hospital in Malta. He is currently the rapporteur for environmental health for the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) and the president of the Medical Association of Malta. He was the secretary of the European Board of Accreditation in Pulmonology from 2010 to 2015, and the president of Pneumology Section at the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) from 2010 to 2018. Dr. Balzan is a senior lecturer at the University of Malta, with a research interest in air quality and the epidemiology of respiratory diseases, this being the main area of his scientific publications. He was a project leader of an EU funded project “Respira” on air quality and respiratory disease in Malta and Sicily from 2012-2015.


Ms. Anne Stauffer

Anne Stauffer leads HEAL’s activities on climate change, energy and air quality and provides strategic input for HEAL’s organizational development, advocacy and engagement of stakeholders across the European region. She has 10+ years of working on environmental health issues and has led HEAL’s members and partners advocacy on key policy files including the EU’s Environmental Action Programme (7 EAP), the EU clean air standards and National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NEC – on air quality) and EU-Parliament climate resolutions. Anne has been a member of the DG Environment Stakeholder expert group on EU air policy, the DG SANCO Indoor air quality expert group and contributed to various EU research projects such as ESCAPE, SINPHONIE, APHEKOM, ERA-ENVHEALTH.


Mr. Oliver Schmoll

Oliver Schmoll manages the Water and Climate Programme at the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health in Bonn. His portfolio includes health-related aspects of climate change adaptation, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene. He coordinates policy advice and technical support to WHO Member States and directs the development of evidence-based guidance related to health adaptation to climate change. Oliver’s team provides the secretariat to the European Working Group on Health in Climate Change under the European Environment and Health Task Force, a unique, WHO-led regional platform in connecting climate science and public health practice. Oliver is an environmental engineer by training and works for WHO since 2013.