‘Climate action can’t wait for pandemic to end’

An editorial published in more than 220 renowned journals, including ‘The Lancet’ and ‘National Medical Journal of India’, says world leaders must urgently act to limit the effects of climate change, restore biodiversity and protect health. Action should be taken.

An editorial published in more than 220 renowned journals, including ‘The Lancet’ and ‘National Medical Journal of India’, says world leaders must urgently act to limit the effects of climate change, restore biodiversity and protect health. Action should be taken.

This editorial is published ahead of the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. It is one of the last international meetings ahead of the ‘Cop 26’ climate summit to be held in Glasgow, UK in November. The major threat to global public health in the future is the continued failure of global leaders to take adequate steps to keep global warming below 1.5 °C and restore nature, the editorial warned. Piyush Sahni, editor-in-chief of the National Medical Journal of India and one of the co-authors of the editorial, said that the recent example of adverse weather across the world has brought to the fore the reality which is climate change. He said that we must take steps or else there will be a lot of delay. We have to answer to future generations. The authors said the recent goals of reducing emissions and protecting nature are welcome, but they are not enough, requiring matching them with credible short-term and long-term plans.

He has appealed to the governments to intervene in bringing about change in society and economy by helping in the transformation of transport system, cities, production and distribution of food grains, market for financial investment and health system. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of ‘The Lancet’, said that an immediate solution to climate change is one of the greatest opportunities to advance public welfare around the world. Horton said the health community should do more to raise their voices critically to hold political leaders accountable for their actions to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The editorial argued that substantial global action can only be achieved if high-income countries do more to support the rest of the world and reduce their consumption.

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