UCL News


UCL Lancet Lecture launches global initiative linking climate change to health

16 November 2016

UCL researchers are leading an initiative with The Lancet to address the global health implications of climate change, launching this week in conjunction with today's 2016 UCL Lancet Lecture.

Melting ice

This year's lecture, entitled Action on climate change for a healthier world - putting the Paris Agreement into practice, is being delivered by Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

She will discuss health and climate change, and the opportunities for improving global health brought about by the Paris Agreement, where 200 countries came together a year ago pledging to keep the global temperature rise within 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels.

The evening is doubling as a launch for The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change. The Lancet Countdown builds on the findings of the UCL-led 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change, which concluded that climate change posed a "potentially catastrophic risk to human health."

The Lancet Countdown is tracking and analysing the impacts of climate change on public health, and will be reporting annually in The Lancet, drawing on input from 48 experts from across the world, including 16 institutions as academic partners of the initiative.

Nicholas Watts (UCL Institute for Global Health), executive director of the Lancet Countdown, says: "Climate change is the biggest threat to global health in the 21st century, so we are seeking to draw attention to the severity of the issue, and to inform decision-making and drive a more effective policy response to climate change. As the host, and as a lead academic partner of the Lancet Countdown, UCL is playing a key role in compiling evidence that can enhance our understanding of the public health impacts of climate change while complementing other global climate science initiatives."

The UCL researchers taking part in the project represent the following academic units:

  • UCL Energy Institute
  • UCL Institute of Global Health
  • UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources
  • UCL Institute for Human Health & Performance
  • UCL Institute for Environmental Design & Engineering
  • UCL Geography
  • UCL Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy
  • UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research

The 2016 UCL Lancet Lecture begins at 17:30 on November 16, and will be livestreamed by UCLTV at the link below.