US Climate and Health Alliance

Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change

November 9, 2016 Global Climate and Health Alliance

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, 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. It will also draw out examples of best practice from cities and countries across the world.

The inaugural report of the Lancet Countdown will be launched on Monday 14th November 2016, at 1100 UK time, at COP22 in Marrakech, and will be available to download for free via The Lancet’s website (although individuals will need to register with The Lancet in order to access it). This will mark the launch of the research collaboration, which will be accompanied by a number of online materials, press and public events around the world.

Health and medical organizations are encouraged to promote the Lancet Countdown by:

  1. Downloading the inaugural report of the Lancet Countdown for free via The Lancet’s website on Monday 14th November.
  2. Sharing the news of the launch, via internal and external communication channels (available at here as of 14 November)
  3. Encouraging your partners to engage with the project’s global consultation process, available at here, and responding yourself
  4. Following, sharing and liking the Lancet Countdown’s Facebook and Twitter alongside the accompanying launch materials (videos, infographics and op-eds) which will be made available soon; and attending or watching the UCL Lancet Lecture on Wednesday 16th November.



Climate change undermines the environmental and social determinants of wellbeing, presenting an unacceptably high and potentially catastrophic risk to human health.


Many of the responses to climate change are sensible, cost-effective public health interventions in their own right. The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change concluded that “tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”


The health profession has a vital role to play in responding to climate change. The Lancet Countdown is a major new research collaboration, being launched to track the response to climate change, and the health benefits that result. Just as the health profession did with tobacco, the Lancet Countdown will generate new evidence on the threats and opportunities, and communicate these to the public and health policymakers.


In addition to publishing the its inaugural report on the 14th of November, The Lancet Countdown is also launching a number of communications assets and channels. These include:

  • Facebook and Twitter , launching on the 7th of November
  • A new website to host the Lancet Countdown and gather feedback and input, launching on the 14th of November
  • A short animated video introducing the Lancet Countdown, launching on the 14th of November
  • A podcast discussing the Lancet Countdown, available the 14th of November
  • A series of infographics designed for social media, for the 14th of November (made available by the 11th of November)
  • A series of op-ed articles published in key media markets around the world (14th November, onwards)
  • In addition to this, The Lancet Countdown will be hosting and participating in a series of online and physical events over the course of the next 6 weeks, to help launch the consultation process and engage the academic and health professional community.