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Health Journals' editors call for urgent action on global warming

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 21, 2021

The member countries of UN General Assembly will meet for the second time at the biodiversity summit in Kunming, China and the climate conference in UK

The editors of health journals worldwide have called for urgent action to keep average global temperature increases below 1.5°C, halt the destruction of nature, and protect health before the UN General Assembly meeting in September 2021, as per the Indian Journal of Medical Research.

The member countries of UN General Assembly will meet for the second time at the biodiversity summit in Kunming, China, and the climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK.

"The science is unequivocal; a global increase of 1.5°C above the pre-industrial average and the continued loss of biodiversity risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse. Despite the world’s necessary preoccupation with Covid-19, we cannot wait for the pandemic to pass to rapidly reduce emissions," the editorial in the IJMR said.

The consequences of the environmental crisis fall disproportionately on those countries and communities that have contributed least to the problem and are least able to mitigate the harms. Yet no country, no matter how wealthy, can shield itself from these impacts, it further said.

"Allowing the consequences to fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable will breed more conflict, food insecurity, forced displacement, and zoonotic disease—with severe implications for all countries and communities. As with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are globally as strong as our weakest member," it stated.

High-income countries must meet and go beyond their outstanding commitment to provide $100bn a year, making up for any shortfall in 2020 and increasing contributions to and beyond 2025. Funding must be equally split between mitigation and adaptation, including improving the resilience of health systems, as per IJMR paper.

Published on September 21, 2021

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