The George Institute for Global Health and the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) have partnered with 35+ health and medical groups in producing a joint letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, following the 26th UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP26). The letter calls on the Federal Government to scale up international climate commitments to protect the health and wellbeing of Australians and Pacific Island neighbours.
The Australian Medical Association, the Public Health Association of Australia and Black Dog Institute are among the 35 health and medical groups as individual signatories, along with the 70+ groups represented by CAHA. Other signatories include the Lowitja Institute, Australian Physiotherapy Association, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, and the Obesity Policy Coalition. See the full list of signatories below.
According to the signatories, there is an urgent need to scale up climate action to protect health and wellbeing – and there are immediate and tangible economic benefits with the economic value of avoided ill-health and associated productivity gains from ambitious climate action able to deliver considerable savings for health care and social service budgets.
The Joint Letter calls for four key actions from the Federal Government to:
- Embed health into the National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy 2021-25
- Strengthen Australia’s 2030 emission reduction target before the 2022 international climate conference, as required by the Glasgow Climate Pact
- Commit further funding for loss and damage in the Pacific Islands to protect regional health system resilience
- Fully resource and implement recommendations in the Climate Change and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Discussion Paper by the Lowitja Institute
Copies of the letters were also sent to Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor, Health Minister Greg Hunt, and Environment Minister Sussan Ley.