Call for action on climate change from more than 200 health journals

More than 200 health magazines around the world publish an editorial calling on leaders to take immediate action against climate change and protect health.

The BMJ said it was the first time so many magazines had come together to make the same statement, reflecting the gravity of the situation.

The editorial, which will be published ahead of the UN General Assembly and the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, says: “Before these crucial meetings, we – the editors of health magazines worldwide – are calling for urgent action to maintain the global average temperature.” . Rise 5 ° C, stop the destruction of nature and protect health.

“Health is already being damaged by the global rise in temperature and the destruction of nature, a condition that health experts have been pointing out for decades.

“The science is clear; a global increase of 1.5 ° C above the pre-industrial average and the ongoing loss of biodiversity risk catastrophic damage to health that cannot be reversed.

“Despite the world’s necessary preoccupation with Covid-19, we cannot wait until the pandemic is over to reduce emissions quickly.

“This editorial reflects the gravity of the moment and appears in health magazines around the world.

“We agree that only fundamental and just changes in societies will reverse our current course.”

It adds, “The greatest threat to global public health is the continued failure of world leaders to keep global temperature rises below 1.5 ° C and restore nature.

“Urgent, society-wide changes need to be made and will lead to a fairer and healthier world.

“As publishers of health magazines, we urge governments and other heads of state and government to act and mark 2021 as the year when the world will finally change course.”

Dr. Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the BMJ and one of the co-authors of the editorial, said: “Health professionals have been at the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis and are unanimous in warning that above 1.5C and allowing the continued destruction of nature will be the next , bring a much more deadly crisis. “

The editorial appears in The BMJ, The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, East African Medical Journal, Chinese Science Bulletin, National Medical Journal of India, Medical Journal of Australia and 50 BMJ journals including BMJ Global Gesundheit und Thorax.

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