Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Ireland Launch – 2020

November 19, 2020

Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Ireland Launch – Dec 11,  01:00 – 2.30PM – IrishTime (GMT)


The 2020 Report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change presents the latest data on 41 indicators across five domains: climate change impacts, exposures and vulnerabilities; adaptation planning and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; economics and finance; and public and political engagement.

On December 11, 2020 we invited those working in health (health policy, clinical practice, academia, etc.) to join us to explore the key findings from the latest Lancet Countdown Report and catalyse action and understanding of environmental health in Ireland and internationally.

View Event Recording

The agenda included: 

    • 1:00-1:05PM Dr Tim Collins Opening 
    • 1:05-1:25PM Lancet Countdown 2020 Keynote – Professor Karyn Morrissey, Lancet Countdown – Ireland 
    • 1:25-1:40PM Irish Context – Dr Ina Kelly – HSE Consultant in Public Health Medicine 
    • 1:40-1:55PM MSF Context – Dr Maria Guevara – Medecins Sans Frontieres Planetary Health
    • 1:55PM-2:30PM Panel Discussion moderated by Callum Patrick Swift, Irish Doctors for the Environment


Tim Collins is CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation and recently led the establishment of the Climate and Health Alliance. Prior to this he worked in radio and print media for 16 years, most recently as CEO of the National talk radio station, Newstalk.

He has a lifelong interest in the environment and worked as Special Advisor to two Ministers at the Department of the Environment including Mary Harney who led the battle to tackle air pollution in Dublin and set up the Environmental Protection Agency.  He has also worked as an environmental consultant and made environment programmes at RTE including a special report on climate change for Prime Time almost 30 years ago…clearly no one was watching!

Professor Karyn Morrissey – Lancet Countdown Co-Author: Dr Karyn Morrissey is a Senior Lecturer in the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter whose research focuses on understanding the impact of socio-economic and environmental inequalities on health outcomes, using data both big and small. An economist by background, interested in multi-disciplinary research, particularly the application of spatial and regional analysis to human health and the environment. Karyn is particularly interested in developing and applying geo-computational models, such as spatial microsimulation and spatial interaction models for health policy analysis.

Karyn’s work at the Exeter University Medical School, has led to collaboration with the WHO and University College London, among other national and international partners, to develop a coherent set of indicators to measure the impact of climate change on human health. This work resulted in the publication of the ‘The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change’ in the Lancet. Karyn has been a co-author of the Lancet Countdown reports since its inception.

Dr Maria Guevara – Planetary Health at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders: Dr Maria Guevara is a Senior Operational Positioning and Advocacy Advisor based in MSF Geneva and committed to championing planetary health in the global health sector and beyond. Maria has a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization medical humanitarian sector. Skilled in Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) work, Global Health, Advocacy/Representation, Management and Leadership. Maria holds an MSc focused in Global Health Policy from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London in addition to her MD and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine. 

Dr. Ina Kelly, Consultant in Public Health Medicine/ Medical Officer of Health, Department of Public Health, HSE Midlands.

Ina studied Medicine in NUIG, trained in General Practice in Australia and trained in Public Health Medicine in Cork, Tullamore, Dublin and Geneva. She is based in the Department of Public Health, HSE Midlands, and as Chair of the Public Health Medicine Environment and Health Group, works at protecting health at national level in numerous environment and health roles, particularly in relation to climate change adaptation. 

She is the health member of the Climate Change Advisory Council Adaptation Committee, is a member of the steering Committee of the National Adaptation Framework in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, and was on the recent Sectoral Adaptation Team of the Department of Health which produced the statutory Health Sector Climate Change Adaptation Plan in 2019. She recently joined the steering committee of Build Upon2, part of a European project to develop a multi-level impact framework with regard to decarbonising the Irish building stock, with the purpose of emphasising the need to prevent adverse health impacts of retrofitting.

In 2020, given the transmissibility, morbidity and mortality of Covid-19, Ina’s first priority is the investigation and control of Covid-19 in the Midlands and Ireland, to protect the population of Ireland and the capacity of the health service.  Her aim is the prevention of every avoidable case of Covid-19 and to break every chain of transmission possible.


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