Current progress to limit global temp to 1.5 degrees Celsius is inadequate to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and to reduce future risks from climate change. Yet actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions can also deliver health co-benefits, for example, from reduced air pollution, consumption of healthy diets, and increased physical activity.
The Lancet Pathfinder Commission was established to collate and assesses the potential and magnitude to date, of the benefits for health and climate of various mitigation actions and, where evidence allowed, the factors facilitating or impeding implementation.
The urgency of accelerating climate change mitigation to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement requires new approaches to scaling up ambitious action, particularly focusing on the systemic drivers of greenhouse gas emissions (including addressing inequitable and unsustainable patterns of consumption, particularly in high-income settings). The full integration of health co-benefits and equity considerations into the delivery of the Paris Climate Agreement through nationally determined contributions and long-term low-emission development strategies can maximise health gains and minimise trade-offs, while reducing inequality, promoting efficient use of resources, and meeting climate targets.
A combination and of both climate and health actions is therefore urgently required to achieve benefits for health and climate mitigation. Moreover — they must be implemented at scale and rapidly.
The Pathfinder Commission provides information pathway recommendations to achieve this as the critical priority actions for our times.