The Time for Change
Editors of 233 medical journals worldwide publish a joint article calling for urgent action against climate change
Aleksandra Jones | | Hot Topic
Ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, on October 11–24, 2021, and the Glasgow 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference on November 1–12, editors of 233 medical journals worldwide have taken an unprecedented step to publish the same editorial, urging world leaders to consider the impact of climate change on health and to take radical steps to tackle temperature increases, loss of biodiversity, and pollution.
The journals who published the editorial on September 6, 2021, include the Lancet, BMJ Open Ophthalmology, British Journal of Ophthalmology, and the Pan-American Journal of Ophthalmology, as well as leading journals from across Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia, and Africa (1). The New England Journal of Medicine took a clear stance on climate change and its impact on public health for the first time by deciding to publish the editorial.
Editors of the journals call for action to ensure average global temperature rises are kept below 1.5 degree Celsius compared with pre-industrial average. An increase above this value, they say, risks “catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse.”
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- L Atwoli et al., BMJ, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34482408.