The health journal Lancet’s annual Countdown on climate and health found more people, especially the elderly, dying because of heat waves in recent years, and it projects that will soar as temperatures keep rising. The international team of doctors, scientists, and economists looked at 47 measurements, many outside health, to diagnose a sick Earth, emphasizing harms they attribute directly to the fossil fuel industry.

Climate inaction is costing lives and livelihoods today, with new global projections revealing the grave and mounting threat to health of further delayed action on climate change. But bold climate action could offer a lifeline for health.

This year’s report launches just weeks before the COP28 which has a health focus for the first time. The findings underscore the opportunity of a lifetime that COP could help deliver – through commitments and action to accelerate a just transition. Without profound and swift mitigation to tackle the root causes of climate change and to support adaptation efforts, the health of humanity is at grave risk.