ResearchPresentation of the Europe Report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change

Press Release No. 49/2024
21 May 2024

Scientists from Heidelberg University spotlight results and discuss their consequences for Germany

The presentation of the 2024 Europe Report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change is being hosted by researchers from Heidelberg University together with the KLUG – German Alliance for Climate Change and Health and the Centre for Planetary Health Policy (CPHP). At the livestreamed public launch event, to take place on 23 May 2024 at Heidelberg University, the results and their consequences for Germany will be featured in the presentation and discussion with experts from science, politics, practice and civil society.

The Lancet Countdown, a worldwide multidisciplinary collaboration between research institutions and United Nations organisations, has since 2017 been using a wealth of indicators to analyse the connection between climate and public health, along with international political responses to climate change and its impacts. A separate report for Europe was introduced in 2021 with the goal of assessing the consequences of the climate crisis at the European level, reporting trends in impacts, analysing adaptation and mitigation measures, and naming fields of action in business, finance, politics and administration.

Scientists from Heidelberg University play a major role in this report, under the leadership of the epidemiologist, mathematician and statistician Prof. Dr Joacim Rocklöv. As Alexander von Humboldt Professor at Heidelberg University, Joacim Rocklöv does research in a number of large-scale projects at the university and the Heidelberg University Hospital on the impacts of climate and environmental change on public health. For that purpose, he directs the Climate-Sensitive Infectious Diseases Lab (CSIDlab), which is located at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health and the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing. With the CSIDlab team, Prof. Rocklöv has contributed important data and analyses to the current Europe Report.

The CSIDlab team is researching the impacts of changing climatic conditions on health and disease and how societies can respond to reduce negative consequences and disease risks. Scientists from the fields of climate modelling, mathematics and epidemiology are working closely together to collect field data and combine it with sophisticated AI prediction models. Prof. Rocklöv: “Our interdisciplinary research aims to provide reliable information to serve as a foundation for accelerating climate adaption and mitigation policies in Europe and globally.”

Prof. Dr Karin Schumacher, Vice-Rector for Quality Development and Sustainability of Heidelberg University, will give the opening address to kick off the launch event. Greetings will be brought by Peter Löffler from the Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission and Francesca Racioppi, director of the European Centre for Environment and Health of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Prof. Rocklöv will then present the findings from the new report.

Angelina Taylor of the Robert Koch Institute and Dr Petra van Rüth from the German Environment Agency will follow up with comments on how these insights relate to Germany and what needs to be done on the German side to protect public health.

Experts from science, politics, practice and civil society at local and national level will take part in the subsequent discussion. The panel consists of Prof. Dr Susanne Moebus (University Hospital Essen, Institute for Urban Public Health), Dr Martin Herrmann (KLUG – German Alliance for Climate Change and Health), Rebecca Debo (Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Integration Baden-Württemberg, State Health Office), Sabine Lachenicht (City of Heidelberg, Office for Environmental Protection, Trade Inspection and Energy) and Alexander Höger (Forum for International Security, Heidelberg).

The event is taking place on 23 May 2024 in the Great Hall of the Old University (Heidelberg, Grabengasse 1). It starts at 10.30 a.m. Those attending in person must be seated in the Great Hall by 10.15 a.m. Attendance at the launch event – both in person and by livestream – requires registration. The streaming link will be sent to all who have registered.

Note for newsrooms

Media representatives are warmly invited to attend and report on the event launching the Europe Report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change on 23 May. This is possible both in person and by live streaming. Please send in your email registration by 22 May to hedi.kriit@uni-heidelberg.de