Donald Trump may consider that climate change is a fake news item, members of his Government may think that dinosaurs and humans coexisted six thousand years ago but the scientific community is getting real for the benefit of humankind. The Lancet Countdown is one such initiative.
The Lancet magazine refers to the lady behind the Paris Climate Agreement (2015), Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2009 which The Lancet describes as the mechanism which underpinned the historic agreement, so important to public health.
It is generally agreed among the scientific community in general that the 2015 Paris Agreement was bebeficial to humankind, creating a benchmark in public health, by pinning global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, reversing upward trends and pollution flows. The agreement also made a commitment to aid developing countries to the tune of 100 billion USD per annum by the year 2020.
The cross-sectoral coalition of the willing forged by Christiana Figueres over the years was struck a severe blow by the Trump Administration, for whom an Agreement is evidently not an Agreement. Yet The Lancet has taken up the challenge with its Countdown, backed now by Christiana Figueres and stresses that the departure of the USA simply means that there are 196 countries committed towards making a difference.
In its article "Christiana Figueres joins The Lancet Countdown-delivering on the promise of Paris", The Lancet considers that the global medical community faces three challenges in addressing the issue of climate change: bold leadership, good communications and a strong voice, advocating the public health issue which is climate change; secondly, it is important to maximize the health benefits of addressing climate change and finally, efforts to overcome the challenges must be benchmarked and monitored.
The Lancet Countdown, Tracking Progress of Health and Climate Change intends to provide data on a range of different indicators, demonstrating health benefits of addressing climate change and monitoring progress worldwide.
Source: The Lancet.com
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969