Institute for Global Health


Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change: Policy Responses to Protect Public Health

Dates: Dec 2012 - August 2015

Principal Investigator: Prof Anthony Costello

Location: Global/regional

Funding: NORAD  |  UCL Grand Challenge for Global Health  |  Tsinghua University  |  ClimateWorks Foundation  |  European Climate Foundation  |  Stordalen Foundation  |  Microsoft Asia  |  NERC

Contact: nicholas.watts@ucl.ac.uk

Project Summary 

The 2015 UCL-Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change was formed to map out a comprehensive response to climate change, in order to ensure the highest attainable standards of health for populations worldwide. This Commission is multidisciplinary and international in nature, with strong collaboration between academic centres in Europe and China.

Four central findings arise from the Commission's work:

1) The effects of climate change threaten to undermine the last half-century of gains in development and global health. The impacts are being felt today, and future projections represent an unacceptably high and potentially catastrophic risk to human health.

2) Tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.

3) Achieving a decarbonised global economy and securing the public health benefits it offers is no longer primarily a technological or economic question - it is now a political one.

4) Climate change is fundamentally an issue of human health, and health professionals have a vital role to play in accelerating progress on mitigation and adaptation policies.

Research Team
Nick Watts
Dr Tim Colbourn
Dr Ilan Kelman
Prof Anthony Costello


Press Release
Summary for Health Professional and Health Policymakers
Summary for National Policymakers
Summary for UNFCCC Negotiators
Summary for the Global Health Community

Climate Change & the Environment
Sustainability & Climate Change


Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan
Federal Minister of Health, & State Minister of Environment and Forests, Ethiopia
Asia Editor & Editor in Chief of The Lancet
The Archbishop of Canterbury & The Archbishop of Constantinople
Joint Statement from the Pharmaceutical Industry
Statement from The World Bank Group
Blog posts from UCL co-authors


Further research