RCoA response to the Lancet Countdown 2019 report

The Lancet Countdown 2019 report was published today. The report looks at new research from 35 global institutions and sets out the long-term health consequences for children and the wider population without action on climate change. 

Dr Tom Pierce Environmental Advisor to the President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:

“The conclusions and recommendations of the Lancet Countdown 2019 report align with both the sustainability strategy of the Royal College of Anaesthetists as well as the aspirations of the Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC).

“Climate change is a global threat to long-term health. The damage inflicted on our children through poor air quality is continuing into adulthood and increasing conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes and dementia.  Without action to deliver both environmental and financial stability we are likely to see premature deaths, pollution related disease and subsequent health service pressure on a scale never witnessed before.

“Through our aligned clinical strategies and priorities the College and CPOC aim to improve longer term health, cut perioperative risk and reduce future demands on health care – but we also acknowledge the impact of climate change on patients’ wellbeing and general population health. The College will therefore continue to work closely with relevant national and international initiatives aimed at mitigating further global temperature rise and climate change.

"At this moment we have a huge opportunity to make changes which could protect the health of the population for years to come. The College therefore welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the adoption into anaesthesia and critical care of the recommendations in the Lancet’s report.”

14 November 2019