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Climate and health report launched by the Lancet

This report is the latest in The Lancet’s Commission on Health and Climate Change series.

The premise of this report is that tackling climate change could be the “single greatest health opportunity in the 21st century”. Climate change is described as a medical emergency that could undermine 50 years of global health gains and Richard Horton (The Lancet editor) states that this is the 'most ambitious and important Lancet Commission we have published'.

The chapters in the report are as follows:

Reduce short-lived climate pollutants for multiple benefits

Noah Scovronick, Carlos Dora, Elaine Fletcher, Andy Haines, Drew Shindell

Achieving a cleaner, more sustainable, and healthier future

Margaret Chan

Tackling climate change: the greatest opportunity for global health

Helena Wang, Richard Horton

Action to protect human health from climate change: an African perspective

Kesetebirhan Admasu, Kare Debessa


The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change maps out the impacts of climate change, and the necessary policy responses, to ensure the highest attainable standards of health for populations worldwide. This Commission is multidisciplinary and international, with strong collaboration between academic centres in Europe and China. The central finding from the Commission is that tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century. 


Watts, N.,  Adger, W. N., Agnolucci, P., Blackstock, J., Byass, P.,  Cai, W., Chaytor, S., Colbourn, T., Collins, M., Cooper, A., Cox, P M., Depledge,J., Drummond, P., Ekins, P., Galaz, V., Grace, D.,  Graham, H., Grubb, M., Haines, A., Hamilton, I.,  Hunter, A., Jiang, X., Li, M., Kelman, I., Liang, L., Lott, M.,  Lowe, R., Luo, Y., Mace, G., Maslin, M., Nilsson, M., Oreszczyn, T., Pye, S., Quinn, T., Svensdotter, M., Venevsky, S., Warner, K., Xu, B., Yang, J., Yin, Y., Yu, C., Zhang, Q., Gong, P., Montgomery, H., Costello, A., 2015, Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health, The Lancet, DOI:

Read more about The Lancet series here and see the full report here (note that this requires journal subscription). For a 2 min video discussing the main message of the report, click here.

You can find more on The Lancet 2009 Series on Health and Climate Change here.

In this opinion piece in the New York Times the report is further discussed. The Carbon Brief also has coverage of the report.

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