Coverage: joint editorial from 200+ health journals on climate change

On Monday 6th September 2021, 229 health journals from across the world began publishing an editorial calling for world leaders to take emergency action to transform societies and limit climate change, restore biodiversity, and protect health. I was a co-author and coordinated the editorial.

It is likely unprecedented across three dimensions: never have so many journals combined to publish the same editorial, these journals are in every world region and cover many health disciplines, and the journal are united in calling for immediate emergency action on the environmental crisis (both climate and nature elements) from world leaders. A full list of publishing and supporting journals can be found at

The editorial can be read at It makes three main points:

  1. Health is already being harmed by the environmental crisis, with harms disproportionately falling on those countries and communities that have contributed least to the problem and are least able to mitigate the impacts. Into the future, the science is unequivocal; going above 1.5°C and allowing the continued loss of biodiversity risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse. The world simply cannot wait for the pandemic to pass to rapidly address the environmental crisis.
  2. Emergency action is needed to transform societies and economies. The current strategy of encouraging markets to swap dirty for cleaner technologies is not enough. Governments must also actively intervene to support the redesign of transport systems, cities, production and distribution of food, markets for financial investments, health systems, and much more. Such a transformation would realise vast health benefits.
  3. Global cooperation hinges on wealthy nations doing more. Sufficient global emergency action can only be achieved if high-income countries do far more to support low-income and vulnerable countries. High income countries must meet and go beyond their outstanding commitment to provide US$100 billion a year. Funding must be equally split between mitigation and adaptation and should be primarily through grants rather than loans. It must help improve the resilience of health systems. Additional funding is needed to compensate for inevitable loss and damage caused by the consequences of the environmental crisis. 

To date, the editorial has received media coverage across the world, including from the BBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the New York Post, and over 700 other articles. A full media report, including non-English media, is forthcoming. The editorial has been welcomed by the WHO the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the LDC Group, the Climate Vulnerable Forum, and international associations of healthcare professionals. A full list of supporting statements can be found at On social media, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Greta Thunberg, the UNFCCC, and others have been tweeting their support.