Countries could save millions of lives annually by 2040 if they commit to bolder plans to cut planet-heating emissions and curb global warming in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, researchers said Tuesday.

A study published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal found policies to that end could, each year, save 5.86 million lives due to better diets, 1.18 million lives from cleaner air and 1.15 million lives through more walking and cycling by 2040.

In 2015, governments set a global goal of limiting average temperature rise to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial times and set emissions reduction targets as a first step to getting there.