Climate change already damaging the health of millions

A new report reveals the various ways in which climate change is already affecting the health of people across the planet.

A group of men, women and children in Bangladesh.

Credit: Adrien Taylor/Unsplash

Over 1 billion people will need to migrate within the next 90 years because of rising sea levels.

The Lancet Countdown aims to track progress against climate goals agreed at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit.

The report, which is funded through Wellcome’s Our Planet, Our Health programme, highlights major health impacts that are already affecting millions of people. These impacts are disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable communities who are least responsible for climate change.

The report does note that over the past five years there has been an accelerated response to climate change. Numerous countries have made commitments to phase out coal power and there is a significant shift towards electric vehicles.

Saskia Heijnen, from Wellcome’s Our Planet, Our Health team, says: "This report highlights that the wide-ranging impacts of climate change are already being felt today – whether that’s air pollution causing thousands of premature deaths, or a reduction in crop production due to rising temperatures.

"There is clear momentum and drive to tackle these issues, but unless we rapidly increase the pace of change we risk significant and irreversible damage to the health of people and the planet."

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