SDSN Contributes to New Lancet Report on Pathways to a Healthy Net-Zero Future

The report, published on 21 November 2023 in The Lancet, shows how climate mitigation actions across different sectors have the potential to bring major benefits to health and highlights the opportunity for global leaders to take actions to prevent millions of premature deaths annually worldwide. As a member of the Lancet Pathfinder Commission, SDSN's Vice President of Networks, María Cortés-Puch served as a contributing author to this report.

The report calls for a step-change in evidence-based action to capitalize on health gains that can be achieved through accelerating a just transition to net zero, including by rapidly phasing out fossil fuels and replacing them with clean renewable energy, shifting to healthier more sustainable diets, and increasing physical activity by promoting active travel and public transport.

For the first time, global evidence on the health co-benefits of climate mitigation actions across sectors has been quantified and compared through a methodology developed by the Pathfinder team, led by researchers at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

In addition to analyzing the results from modelled evidence on potential health benefits from climate mitigation, the report includes examples of implemented actions with measured climate and health benefits. Further case studies and data from the Pathfinder review are showcased in a new online Climate & Health Evidence Bank, hosted by the Pathfinder Initiative.

Following the recommendations of the Commission report, the next phase of the Pathfinder Initiative will include the development of a Coalition of partners committed to the implementation and evaluation of ambitious action on climate and health.

The Commission and its report are part of the wider Pathfinder Initiative that aims to accelerate the transition to net-zero societies through providing practical, evidence-based emissions reduction pathways that also benefit human health. The initiative is funded by the Wellcome Trust with support from the Oak Foundation. Research is led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; partners of the first phase of work include C40 Cities, CDP, the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research.

Read the Report

Explore the Evidence Bank