CEE research informs The Lancet Countdown

Energyepi_model_2Work from the Centre for Energy Epidemiology (CEE) contributes to ‘The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change’.

This collaboration between academics and practitioners from all over the world follows on from 2015’s Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change which aimed to provide a global overview of the relationship between health and climate change.

The collaboration has five major themes:

  • health impacts of climate hazards
  • health resilience and adaptation
  • health co-benefits of climate change mitigation
  • economics and finance
  • political and broader engagement

A new article in The Lancet, co-authored by CEE’s Tadj Oreszczyn and Bob Lowe details the work of the collaboration. The Lancet is one of the world’s oldest medical journals with 1.8 million registered online users.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated in 2012 that 12.6 million deaths, or 23% of all deaths worldwide, were caused by environmental conditions that could be modified, many of which are linkable to climate change factors.

The Lancet Countdown aims to track global efforts to meet targets for moving towards a decarbonised economy and highlight health benefits and problems in the process.

The initiative highlights the value of breaking down barriers between academic fields and government departments to address the problem of climate change and other large scale issues.

The RCUK CEE Centre are particularly well aligned with medical research as their eponymous epidemiological research uses techniques based on looking at large datasets across the whole population to get real world evidence about how to approach problems. This is similar to the way in which medical researchers approach disease although CEE apply the techniques mainly to buildings and transport.

One major piece of work by CEE involved working with health researchers to measure the impact of energy efficiency on health. They concluded that providing more efficient boilers to some people who were suffering health problems due to cold homes would actually be cheaper than the cost of the medical treatment needed address their illnesses. Read more here: Exploring the links between energy efficiency and health

 

Article in The Lancet

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