Introduction The sequence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions causing climate change is now universally accepted. To highlight the urgent need to reverse climate change, editors of 231 leading international medical journals published a common climate emergency editorial in their September 2021 issues. The signatory journals include those with a widespread reach as well as surgical journals.
The eminent editors set the tone of the editorial at the outset, when they state that “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; 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”. This article attempts to draw the relevance of this unprecedented editorial and the climate change discussion to surgical practice.