2020 Lancet Countdown Policy Brief for the US

COVID-19 Shows how No One is Immune from Converging Health Crises
Latest Lancet data finds that millions of lives can be saved with climate action

Each year, the Lancet Countdown tracks more than 43 indicators on links between health and climate change and this year presents the most worrying outlook to date as key trends worsen. However, the latest report finds that with climate action, the lives of millions can be improved
and saved.

Examining how climate change, air quality, and COVID-19 worsen Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) racial health inequities, the U.S. Brief makes clear that these challenges can’t be treated in isolation. Report authors advocate for a holistic response to these converging crises, stressing that integrated solutions can deliver better public health, a sustainable economy, environmental protection and a more equitable society.


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The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change is a comprehensive yearly global analysis tracking the impact of climate change on human health across 41 key indicators. The report also projects the health benefits that would come from meeting the Paris Agreement targets, and the health harms of business as usual. The project is a collaboration of more than 100 experts from 35 global institutions including the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, University College London, and Tsinghua University. 

The 43 indicators are organized across five categories: 1) climate change impacts, exposures and vulnerabilities; 2) adaptation planning and resilience for health; 3) mitigation actions and health co-benefits; 4) economics and finance; and 5) public and political engagement.