Global warming is already affecting people's health so much that emergency action on climate change cannot be put on hold while the world deals with the Covid-19 pandemic, medical journals across the globe warned on Monday.
"Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world," read an editorial published in more than 220 leading journals ahead of the Cop26 climate summit in November.
These effects, which hit those most vulnerable like minorities, children and poorer communities hardest, are just the beginning, it warned.
As things stand, global warming could reach +1.5C on pre-industrial levels around 2030, according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
And that, along with the continued loss of biodiversity, "risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse," the editorial warned.
"Better air quality alone would realise health benefits that easily offset the global costs of emissions reductions," it read.
The authors also said "governments must make fundamental changes to how our societies and economies are organised and how we live.". »