This article was originally published at the website of BMJ.
Rapid and potentially irreversible climate change poses a direct threat to global public health. The World Health Organization (WHO) should recognise this in the same way as global threats from specific diseases such as the ongoing Coronavirus disease pandemic.
Anthony McMichael first established the link between climate change and human health in the 1990s. In a distinguished career that established him as a leading authority on the health impacts of climate change, he repeatedly asked whether we understood the profound significance of climate change for global health. Were we to ask that question today, as we should, the answer would be: We do, but we are failing to act quickly enough or at sufficient scale.
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