Climate change and health—action please, not words

The Lancet staff

Last year, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern that the world's commitment to mitigate climate change was insufficient. Indeed, in today's Lancet, a Comment by Andy Haines and others provides a stark reminder of the likely adverse effects on human health should fossil fuel consumption and high population growth continue at their present levels. They call for the health community to take a longer term view, where actions that target climate change and health today will reduce the global burden of ill-health in the future. So urgent is the need for effective and immediate action that on Sept 23, during the UN General Assembly, Ban Ki-moon will convene a climate summit to revitalise support from government, business, finance, and civil society leaders. In addition to the hope for new funding and ideas to curb climate change, the summit will focus on health and opportunities for employment in “green” jobs.