China, with its growing population and economic development, faces increasing risks to health from climate change, but also opportunities to address these risks and protect health for generations to come. Without a timely and adequate response, climate change will impact lives and livelihoods at an accelerated rate. In 2020, the Lancet Countdown Regional Centre in Asia, led by Tsinghua University, built on the work of the global Lancet Countdown and began its assessment of the health profile of climate change in China with the aim of triggering rapid and health-responsive actions.
This 2021 report is the first annual update, presenting 25 indicators within five domains: climate change impacts, exposures, and vulnerability; adaptation, planning, and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; economics and finance; and public and political engagement. The report represents the contributions of 88 experts from 25 leading institutions in, and outside of, China. From 2020 to 2021, five new indicators have been added and methods have been improved for many indicators. Where possible, the indicator results are presented at national and provincial levels to facilitate local understanding and policy making. In a year marked by COVID-19, this report also endeavours to reflect on China's pathway for a green recovery, ensuring it aligns with the carbon neutrality goal, for the health of the current and future generations.