press information / news

Publication
21.10.2021

New Lancet Countdown Policy Brief for Germany continues to show considerable need for action

Germany is not sufficiently prepared for the health challenges posed by climate change. Despite a growing awareness among political leaders for the urgency of the situation, concrete measures to avoid climate-related health risks and to combat climate change have yet to be taken. Only a few municipalities have implemented heat action plans to date, and the high CO2 emissions of the healthcare system have also been reduced only to a minor extent in recent years.

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These are key findings of a review, on the occasion of the launch of the international Lancet Countdown. The annual report on climate and health is compiled by 38 leading academic institutions and UN organizations worldwide and published by the journal “The Lancet”. Experts from Helmholtz Zentrum München, Bundesärztekammer, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have produced an annual report on Germany since 2019 and make policy recommendations. In 2021, they reviewed the extent to which politics and society have taken up their recommendations from 2019.

The key finding: Decision-makers are becoming increasingly aware of the seriousness of the situation. The necessary action, however, is mostly lacking. For example, only few municipalities have comprehensive heat action plans to date or have not implemented them. Key stakeholders in the healthcare system have hardly been involved so far. Efforts to reduce the CO2 footprint of the healthcare system (approx. 5% of total Germany's emissions) have hardly been made in the past two years.

The Policy Brief for Germany 2021 may serve as a basis for the new federal government to make evidence-based decisions on the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

Read a more extensive press release on this topic in German.

Check out the international version of Lancet Coutdown 2021: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01787-6/fulltext