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Health sector urge C action 6 September 2021

Climate crisis: Over 200 health journals urge world leaders to tackle “catastrophic harm” (via BMJ)

By Jacqui Wise

More than 200 health journals have called on governments to take emergency action to tackle the “catastrophic harm to health” from climate change.

A joint editorial says that while recent targets to reduce emissions and conserve biodiversity are welcome, they are not enough and need to be matched with credible short and longer term plans.

The editorial was published simultaneously on 6 September in 233 international titles including The BMJ, the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, the East African Medical Journal, the Chinese Science Bulletin, the National Medical Journal of India, and the Medical Journal of Australia. A full list of authors and signatories can be found here:

“As health professionals, we must do all we can to aid the transition to a sustainable, fairer, resilient, and healthier world,” the editorial says. “We, as editors of health journals, call for governments and other leaders to act, marking 2021 as the year that the world finally changes course.”

The editorial is being published ahead of next week’s UN General Assembly, one of the last international meetings taking place before the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November. It has been coordinated by the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, a coalition of leading UK health bodies.

Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of The BMJ and one of the editorial’s coauthors, said, “Health professionals have been on the front line of the covid–19 crisis, and they are united in warning that going above 1.5°C and allowing the continued destruction of nature will bring the next, far deadlier crisis.

“Wealthier nations must act faster and do more to support those countries already suffering under higher temperatures. 2021 has to be the year the world changes course—our health depends on it.”

Read the full story here.