The editors of more than 230 medical journals called for immediate action to combat the climate crisis in a first-of-its-kind joint statement Sunday. The joint editorial comes in the runup to the UN General Assembly later this month and the COP26 climate conference in November. “Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world, a state of affairs health professionals have been bringing attention to for decades. The science is unequivocal,” the editors from journals across the globe wrote. “Despite the world’s necessary preoccupation with Covid-19, we cannot wait for the pandemic to pass to rapidly reduce emissions.”

The historic nature of the joint editorial — published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Lancet, the British Medical Journal, the New England Journal of Medicine, the International Nursing Review, the Chinese Science Bulletin, and Brazil’s Revista de Saude Publica, among many others — underlines the severity of the crisis, they wrote. “The greatest threat to global public health is the continued failure of world leaders to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5° C and to restore nature,” the authors concluded. “We, as editors of health journals, call for governments and other leaders to act, marking 2021 as the year that the world finally changes course.” (Axios, HuffPost, France24, Wall Street Journal $, Daily Beast, Slate, The Independent, New York Post)