Rachel Lowe

Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS)

The Lancet Countdown in Europe is a new transdisciplinary research collaboration monitoring progress on health and climate change in Europe. Building on the work of the Lancet Countdown and other regional centres, it leverages the wealth of data and cross-disciplinary expertise in Europe, to develop region-specific indicators to address the main challenges and opportunities of Europe’s response to climate change for health. As one of the largest current and historical contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and the largest provider of financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation, Europe is a key stakeholder in the world’s response to climate change and has a global responsibility to create more prosperous, equitable, and healthy economies that are based on zero- carbon energy. The collaboration published its first indicator report in The Lancet Public Health on October 2022, including 33 policy-relevant indicators developed by 44 researchers from 29 institutions across Europe1. These indicators track progress on health and climate change in terms of impacts, adaptation, mitigation and co-benefits, economics and finance, and politics and governance. The report shows alarming increases in health-related impacts from climate change across Europe.

To meet the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement, Europe should reach net-zero emissions by 2050. However, Europe’s current emissions remain excessively high, and this is costing millions of lives each year. Ambitious adaptation and mitigation strategies are needed not only to protect lives and wellbeing in Europe, but also in countries that have historically contributed least to climate change. Key Lancet Countdown in Europe indicators were included in the European Environment agency policy report on heat and infectious diseases2 and incorporated in the European Climate and Health Observatory.