The 2022 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change is published as the world confronts profound and concurrent systemic shocks.
Countries and health systems continue to contend with the serious health, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a persistent fossil fuel overdependence has pushed the world into global energy and cost-of-living crises. As these crises unfold, climate change escalates unabated. Its worsening impacts are increasingly affecting the foundations of human health and wellbeing, exacerbating the vulnerability of the world’s populations to concurrent health threats.
The authors determined that 80% of the 86 governments studied were subsidizing fossil fuels in 2019, providing a collective $400bn. Yet “governments have so far failed to provide the smaller sum of $100bn per year to help support climate action in lower income countries,” note the report’s authors.
The report identifies 15 biggest oil and gas companies as remain sharply at odds with ending the climate emergency, “regardless of their climate claims and commitments.”