Physicians' roles on the front line of climate change

February 4, 2013

Physicians can and should help mitigate the negative health effects of climate change because they will be at the forefront of responding to the effects of global warming, argues an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Doctors could use their political influence to lobby government on climate issues that are already affecting health and to become signatories to the Doha Declaration on Climate, Health and Wellbeing. They can also act at a professional level, by leading health institutions to cut back on and reduce clinical waste.

"The time of warnings and cautions is over," writes Barbara Sibbald, Deputy Editor, CMAJ. "We are headed on a disastrous trajectory that only immediate, wise action can mitigate. If we do not act now, our descendants will bear the consequences, and we will bear the blame."

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