In the past few decades, major public health advances have happened in Europe, with drastic decreases in premature mortality and a life expectancy increase of almost 9 years since 1980. European countries have some of the best health-care systems in the world. However, Europe is challenged with unprecedented and overlapping crises that are detrimental to human health and livelihoods and threaten adaptive capacity, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the fastest-growing migrant crisis since World War 2, population displacement, environmental degradation, and deepening inequalities. Compared with pre-industrial times, the mean average European surface air temperature increase has been almost 1°C higher than the average global temperature increase, and 2022 was the hottest European summer on record. As the world's third largest economy and a major contributor to global cumulative greenhouse gas emissions, Europe is a key stakeholder in the world's response to climate change and has a global responsibility and opportunity to lead the transition to becoming a low-carbon economy and a healthier, more resilient society.
The Lancet Public Health, Volume 7, November 2022,