Hartinger, S., Palmeiro-Silva, Y., Llerena-Cayo, C., Blanco-Villafuerte, L., Escobar, L., Diaz, A., Sarmiento, J., Lescano, A., Melo, O., Rojas-Rueda, D., Takahashi, B., Callaghan, M., Chesini, F., Dasgupta, S., Posse, C., Gouveia, N., de Carvalho, A., Miranda-Chacón, Z., Mohajeri, N., Pantoja, C., Robinson, E., Salas, M., Santiago, R., Sauma, E, Santos-Vega, M., Scamman, D., Sergeeva, M., de Camargo, T., Sorensen, C., Umaña, J., Yglesias-González, M., Walawender, M., Buss, D., Romanello, M.

The 2023 Latin America report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: the imperative for health-centred climate-resilient development

in The Lancet Regional Health, 23.04.2024

Peer Review , Applied Sustainability Sciences

In 2023, a series of climatological and political events unfolded, partly driving forward the global climate and health agenda while simultaneously exposing important disparities and vulnerabilities to climate-related events. On the policy front, a significant step forward was marked by the inaugural Health Day at COP28, acknowledging the profound impacts of climate change on health. However, the first-ever Global Stocktake showed an important gap between the current progress and the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement, underscoring the urgent need for further and decisive action. From a Latin American perspective, some questions arise: How do we achieve the change that is needed? How to address the vulnerabilities to climate change in a region with long-standing social inequities? How do we promote intersectoral collaboration to face a complex problem such as climate change? The debate is still ongoing, and in many instances, it is just starting.

The renamed regional centre Lancet Countdown Latin America (previously named Lancet Countdown South America) expanded its geographical scope adding Mexico and five Central American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama, as a response to the need for stronger collaboration in a region with significant social disparities, including research capacities and funding. The centre is an independent and multidisciplinary collaboration that tracks the links between health and climate change in Latin America, following the global Lancet Countdown's methodologies and five domains. The Lancet Countdown Latin America work hinges on the commitment of 23 regional academic institutions, United Nations agencies, and 34 researchers who generously contribute their time and expertise.

Building from the first report, the 2023 report of the Lancet Countdown Latin America, presents 34 indicators that track the relationship between health and climate change up to 2022, aiming at providing evidence to public decision-making with the purpose of improving the health and wellbeing of Latin American populations and reducing social inequities through climate actions focusing on health.