The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change is a new international, multi-disciplinary research collaboration between academic institutions and practitioners across the world. It is being established to track the different aspects of the relationship between health and climate change. Every year until 2030, it will identify and monitor the impacts of climate change on health, and the benefits that an accelerated response brings, publishing annually in The Lancet before the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of the Parties.
The Lancet Countdown initiative unite 48 leading experts from across the world, some 16 institutions are academic partners. It is engaged in a special collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and count among its partners the University College London, Tsinghua University and the Centre for Climate & Security.
The Centre Virchow-Villermé is engaged in the Lancet Countdown project through analyzing communication and academics concern around the topic. « As we enter this crucial time period to capitalise on the opportunity to improve health through tackling climate change, the political will and public understanding surrounding these complex topics has never been so important. Fundamentally, it’s the role of scientists to effectively communicate these challenges to those who can make change, health professionals and health policymakers, to drive forward this movement. It’s only by pushing the boundaries of bold academic research and messaging that we can truly achieve this. » said Dr Anneliese Depoux, codirector of the Centre Virchow-Villermé highlighting the importance of the initiative.
In order to evaluate the Lancet Countdown’s efforts, and need to highlight the health argument in tackling climate change, CVV will provide analysis in:
1) A media analysis that will track levels of public engagement with health and climate change over time and that will identify (i) key events that cause spikes in engagement; (ii) whether such spikes result in longer-term engagement; and (iii) countries where engagement is particularly high or low.
2) A scientific engagement analysis with annual reviews of published scientific articles, with the use of a bibliometric search relating to the terms “climate” and “health”. (This study has already started through the 4CHealth project.)
3) An analysis of the incorporation of the thematic into the educational curricula of health professionals.
More information will be provided, as the first annual report will be announced.