Editors of 228 leading medical, nursing and public-health journals from around the world called for urgent action on climate change, in a joint editorial. They warn that current efforts aren’t enough to address health problems resulting from rising global temperatures caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. “Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world,” the journals’ editors say in the editorial. If unchecked, they say, rising temperatures “risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse.” In their shared statement, the editors press for “fundamental changes in how our societies and economies are organized and how we live” to limit future global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels—a goal arising from the 2015 Paris climate summit.

The editorial is aimed at world leaders participating in a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly that begins on Sept. 14, as well as those who will be gathering in November at a global climate treaty conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The latter gathering, known as COP26, is expected to address more ambitious efforts to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

Rising temperature and other manifestations of climate change have brought higher rates of heart and lung ailments and infectious diseases, as well as of injuries and premature deaths tied to extreme weather, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Climate change also takes a toll on mental health. Heat waves, floods and other extreme weather events—which research shows have become more common as a result of climate change—can cause anxiety and depression, according to the American Psychiatric Association. A 2019 study published in Nature Climate Change linked increased temperatures to a rise in suicides.

The editorial warns that the health impacts of climate change disproportionately affect children, elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions as well as ethnic minorities—which vary from country to country. These and certain other communities—including pregnant women, immigrants, indigenous people, disabled people and workers exposed to extreme weather—are especially vulnerable to climate change, according to the American Public Health Association.

The editorial comes on the heels of a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in August, which said record heat waves, extreme  droughts, more intense storms, melting ice sheets and rising seas were attributable in large part to heat-trapping gases such as methane released by agriculture and carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.

Full list of authors and signatories to climate emergency editorial September 2021

This editorial is being published simultaneously in the following journals (alphabetical order)

  1. Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
  2. Advances in Nursing Science
  3. Advances in Nutrition
  4. African Journal of Laboratory Medicine
  5. Afro-Egyptian Journal of Infectious and Endemic Diseases
  6. Age and Ageing
  7. Alcohol and Alcoholism
  8. Allergy
  9. Alpha Psychiatry
  10. American Journal of Clinical Pathology
  11. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
  12. American Journal of Hypertension
  13. American Society of Microbiology
  14. Animal Bioscience
  15. Annals of African Surgery
  16. Annals of Behavioral Medicine
  17. Annals of Oncology
  18. Annals of Global Health
  19. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
  20. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
  21. Archives of Disease in Childhood
  22. Archives of the Turkish Society of Cardiology
  23. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health
  24. Balkan Medical Journal
  25. Belgian Journal of Medicine
  26. Biosis: Biological Systems
  27. BJOG
  28. BMJ Case Reports
  29. BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine
  30. BMJ Global Health
  31. BMJ Health & Care Informatics
  32. BMJ Innovations
  33. BMJ Leader
  34. BMJ Military Health
  35. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health
  36. BMJ Open
  37. BMJ Open Gastroenterology
  38. BMJ Open Ophthalmology
  39. BMJ Open Quality
  40. BMJ Open Respiratory Research
  41. BMJ Open Science
  42. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
  43. BMJ Paediatrics Open
  44. BMJ Quality & Safety
  45. BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health
  46. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care
  47. BMJ Surgery, Interventions, & Health Technologies
  48. Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences
  49. Brain
  50. Brain Communications
  51. British Dental Journal
  52. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
  53. British Journal of General Practice
  54. British Journal of Ophthalmology
  55. British Journal of Sports Medicine
  56. British Medical Bulletin
  57. Bulletin of the World Health Organization
  58. Cadernos de Saúde Pública
  59. Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy
  60. Canadian Medical Association Journal
  61. Cardiovascular Research
  62. Caribbean Medical Journal
  63. Chinese Science Bulletin
  64. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing
  65. Clinical Medicine
  66. Croatian Medical Journal
  67. Crohn's & Colitis 360
  68. Cureus Journal of Medical Science
  69. Current Developments in Nutrition
  70. Danish Medical Journal
  71. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum
  72. Dutch Journal of Medicine
  73. East African Medical Journal
  74. EBioMedicine
  75. EClinicalMedicine
  76. Emergency Medicine Journal
  77. EP Europace
  78. European Heart Journal
  79. European Heart Journal - Acute Cardiovascular Care
  80. European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Imaging
  81. European Heart Journal - Case Reports
  82. European Heart Journal - Digital Health
  83. European Heart Journal - Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes
  84. European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy
  85. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
  86. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
  87. European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
  88. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
  89. European Journal of Public Health
  90. Evidence-Based Mental Health
  91. Evidence-Based Nursing
  92. Family Medicine and Community Health
  93. Family Practice
  94. Finnish Medical Journal
  95. Frontline Gastroenterology
  96. Gaceta Sanitaria
  97. Gastrointestinal Nursing
  98. General Psychiatry
  99. Global Health Action
  100. Global Heart
  101. Global Journal of Medicine and Public Health
  102. Health Policy and Planning
  103. Health Promotion International
  104. Health Promotion Journal of Australia
  105. Heart
  106. Huisarts en wetenschap
  107. Human Molecular Genetics
  108. Human Reproduction
  109. IJQHC Communications
  110. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics
  111. Indian Journal of Medical Research
  112. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
  113. Injury Prevention
  114. Innovation in Aging
  115. Integrated Healthcare Journal
  116. International Journal of Epidemiology
  117. International Journal of Gynaecology & Obstetrics
  118. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer
  119. International Journal of Health Policy and Management
  120. International Journal of Integrated Care
  121. International Journal of Medical Students
  122. International Journal of Nursing Studies
  123. International Journal of Older People Nursing
  124. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice
  125. International Nursing Review
  126. JAMIA Open
  127. JMIR Public Health & Surveillance
  128. JNCI Cancer Spectrum
  129. Journal of Child Health Care
  130. Journal of Clinical Pathology
  131. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis
  132. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health
  133. Journal of Health and Caring Sciences
  134. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
  135. Journal of Medical Ethics
  136. Journal of Medical Genetics
  137. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences
  138. Journal of Nepal Paediatric Society
  139. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
  140. Journal of Open Health Data
  141. Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
  142. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
  143. Journal of Public Health
  144. Journal of Surgical Case Reports
  145. Journal of Surgical Protocols and Research Methodologies
  146. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association
  147. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand
  148. Journal of the National Cancer Institute
  149. Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association
  150. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
  151. Journal of Travel Medicine
  152. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics
  153. Journal of Turkish Society of Microbiology
  154. Kafkas Universitesi Veteriner Fakültesi Dergisi
  155. Khyber Medical University Journal
  156. Lab Medicine
  157. Medical Humanities
  158. Medical Journal of Australia
  159. Medical Mycology
  160. Medwave
  161. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
  162. Neuro-Oncology Advances
  163. Neuro-Oncology Practice
  164. Neurology
  165. New England Journal of Medicine
  166. Nicotine & Tobacco Research
  167. Nurse Author & Editor
  168. Nursing Inquiry
  169. Nutrition Reviews
  170. Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  171. Occupational Medicine
  172. Oxford Open Climate Change
  173. Oxford Open Immunology
  174. Pacific Rim Journal of International Nursing Research
  175. Paediatrics & Child Health
  176. Palliative Medicine
  177. Pan American Journal of Public Health
  178. Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines Journal
  179. Pediatric Nursing
  180. The Pharmaceutical Journal
  181. PLOS Medicine
  182. Postgraduate Medical Journal
  183. Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
  184. PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal
  185. Revista de la Facultad de Medicina Humana
  186. Revista de Saúde Pública
  187. Rheumatology
  188. RMD Open
  189. Schizophrenia Bulletin
  190. Schizophrenia Bulletin Open
  191. Sexually Transmitted Infections
  192. SLEEP
  193. SLEEP Advances
  194. Stroke and Vascular Neurology
  195. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  196. The BMJ
  197. The Gerontologist
  198. The Journal of Climate Change and Health
  199. The Journal of Nutrition
  200. The Journals of Gerontology, Series A
  201. The Lancet
  202. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
  203. The Lancet Global Health
  204. The Lancet Microbe
  205. The Lancet Planetary Health
  206. The Lancet Psychiatry
  207. The Lancet Public Health
  208. The Lancet Regional Health - Americas
  209. The Lancet Regional Health - Europe
  210. The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific
  211. The National Medical Journal of India
  212. The Pan-American Journal of Ophthalmology
  213. Thorax
  214. Tobacco Control
  215. Translational Behavioral Medicine
  216. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
  217. Turkish Archives of Otorhinolaryngology
  218. Turkish Archives of Pediatrics
  219. Turkish Journal of Anaesthesiology and Reanimation
  220. Turkish Journal of Biochemistry
  221. Turkish Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
  222. Turkish Journal of Orthodontics
  223. Turkish Thoracic Journal
  224. Veterinary Record
  225. VOICE
  226. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine
  227. Women’s Healthcare: A Clinical Journal for NPs
  228. World Journal of Pediatric Surgery

In addition, the following journals are supporting the editorial (but are not publishing)

  1. American Family Physician
  2. International Journal of Cancer
  3. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
  4. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences
  5. Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
  6. The Lancet Digital Health
  7. The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology
  8. The Lancet Haematology
  9. The Lancet Healthy Longevity
  10. The Lancet HIV
  11. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine
  12. The Lancet Rheumatology
  13. Open Journal of Bioresources
  14. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
  15. Journal of Advanced Nursing
  16. Journal of Clinical Nursing
  17. Nursing Open
  18. Revista Venezolana de Salud Pública
  19. Revista Médica del Uruguay
  20. Revista Argentina de Salud Pública
  21. GeoHealth
  22. American Geophysical Union Journals
  23. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal

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