Release on the Lancet commission on health and climate change report

Published on: 23 June 2015


The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change report entitled Health and Climate Change: policy responses to protect public health is a timely and compelling reminder that climate change is exacerbating health issues and will present challenges to efforts by the global community to tackle health concerns and inequalities across the world. Climate change will have severe consequences for both people living today, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, as well as future generations. It must be tackled in order to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The driving motivation of the pharmaceutical industry is to improve human health and well-being. We all need to ensure that the impact of climate change on health is better understood so that we can form and execute our response by understanding the interface between people, health and the environment.

The pharmaceutical industry is seeking new partnerships, and exploring new ways of acting, in response to these challenges. We know that many of the actions we may need to take require transformational change. We are working to reduce our own direct carbon impacts, as well as working with suppliers, customers and others to reduce carbon impacts across our value chain. We are also making important progress in tackling some of the key diseases that are likely to be impacted either directly or indirectly by climate change.

Partnership and co-ordination will be essential if we are to make the changes so urgently needed and we will seek to drive a progressive industry response to combat climate change and promote health. We also wish to join and invite other key stakeholders – Government, business and civil society – to have a dialogue around innovation, research and other actions we can individually and collectively take.

The Paris climate negotiations later this year[1] present an opportunity to help advance this important dialogue. The potential of what we can achieve by working in partnership is huge. With this report we hope that the impact of climate change on health is better understood and contributes to the arguments that support a global deal in Paris in December.

[1] 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), otherwise known as “Paris 2015” from 30th November to 11th December 2015.