On 28 November The Lancet released its Countdown report, which tracks progress on health and climate change, providing an independent, global scanning of the health dimensions impacted climate change.
The report details how present day heat waves threaten both lives and the viability of the national health systems, with the potential to disrupt core public health infrastructure and overwhelm health services. At a time when national health budgets and health services face a growing epidemic of chronic diseases, continued delays in mitigating the impacts of climate change on health is short-sighted and damaging, according to the report. Increasing temperatures will continue to expose vulnerable populations to additional heat-related morbidity and mortality, including those with kidney disease.
The Lancet Countdown is the result of a collaboration of 27 leading academic institutions, the UN, and intergovernmental agencies. The report discusses temperature and health through the tracking of 41 indicators across five domains: climate change impacts, exposures, and vulnerability; adaptation, planning, and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; finance and economics; and public and political engagement.