Media contact: Simon Towle
19 February 2018
A Discussion Paper and Survey released today calls for health services and those providing aged care and childcare to contribute to the development of a climate change response plan for the health sector in Qld.
The Queensland Government has funded the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) and the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) to develop a health and wellbeing climate adaptation plan for the state.
14 November 2017
As a coalition of groups committed to better health and a safer climate, the Climate and Health Alliance has welcomes the decision by Medibank to divest from fossil fuels.
"The decision by Medibank to limit its exposure to assets that contribute to global warming is an important acknowledgement of the harmful impacts of climate change on people's health and well-being," said Climate and Health Alliance Executive Director, Fiona Armstrong.
31 October 2017
A major new health report reveals the failure of nations, including Australia, to tackle climate change is jeopardizing human lives and livelihoods around the world.
The Lancet Countdown 2030 report reveals 125 million vulnerable adults have been exposed to heatwaves since 2010, with an additional one billion facing exposure by 2040.
An accompanying Australian Policy Brief highlights the need for all levels of government to prioritise health in climate change responses, which should include phasing out coal, tightening emissions regulations in transport and building sectors, and integrating health in climate policy, as per the example of the health sector led Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, released in June 2017.
22 June 2017
In a world first initiative, a coalition of leading health experts and organisations, along with federal parliamentarians, will today launch a Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia.
The Framework has been developed on behalf of a coalition of over thirty health and medical organisations, and follows a year-long national consultation to identify stakeholders’ priorities and concerns regarding the health impacts of climate change.
Executive Director of the Climate and Health Alliance Fiona Armstrong said: “The Framework provides a comprehensive roadmap to assist Australia in addressing the significant risks that climate change poses to the health and well-being of the community, and in meeting its obligations to citizen’s ‘right to health’ under the Paris Agreement.”
29 May 2017
A new report from the national consultation with health and medical groups stakeholders led by CAHA throughout 2016 has documents deep concerns about federal government inaction on climate change. There is overwhelming support for national action to promote health and welfare of all Australians in the face of increased climate risks.
CAHA Executive Director and report co-author Fiona Armstrong said the findings revealed that health professionals and leaders of health groups are acutely aware of the link between climate change and health, and recognise Australia’s current climate polices put people’s health at risk as well as being inconsistent with our international obligations, including those under the Paris Agreement.
28 March 2017
Engie's decision to close its Hazelwood coal-fired power station will immediately improve the health of the thousands of people living nearby, health groups say.
Fiona Armstrong, Executive Director of the national health coalition, Climate and Health Alliance, said closing the power station presented an opportunity for the community to reap significant health benefits.
"People in the Latrobe Valley have suffered a burden of ill-health from the pollution cause by the burning of coal over a long period, given it is linked to cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological diseases, as well as lung cancers."
24 February 2017
Health care providers and hospitals in Australia and New Zealand are being recognised internationally for their leadership in greening the health sector and improving global public health by taking action on climate change.
Three local health services scooped five awards in three categories at the global 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge awards. They are: Koowerup Regional Health Service in Victoria; Mater in Queensland; and Counties Manukau Health in New Zealand.
All are members of the Pacific region of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) network and participants in the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge.
10 October 2016
Australia’s leading health and medical experts are meeting in Canberra today to call on politicians to take immediate steps to protect the health of Australians from the impacts of climate change. A nation-wide consultation has revealed deep concern within the health sector that there is currently no national health plan to deal with the impacts of climate change.
• injuries and illnesses associated with extreme weather events, such as bushfires, extreme storms, flooding, and heatwaves
• the mental health impacts of disasters and their aftermath
• increased spread of infectious diseases
• worsening air quality
3 October 2016
Leading medical experts say Australia’s health system is unprepared for the impacts of climate change, leaving communities unnecessarily exposed.
In a national first, the Climate and Health Alliance surveyed more than 130 peak health bodies, unions and health professionals – including doctors, nurses, midwives, public health practitioners and psychologists – to evaluate the sector’s preparedness for the impacts of climate change.
The results uncovered major gaps and widespread concerns, with:
- High level of concern about the exposure of Australian patients to serious health issues worsening under climate change
- Overwhelming support (98%) for a national public policy response
“The results of our survey were explicit and urgent,” said Dr Liz Hanna, President of the Climate and Health Alliance.
“Health care professionals are deeply concerned that neither the Coalition nor Labor appear to have any idea of the threat posed by climate change to our physical and mental health.”
21 July 2016
Australia will fail to fulfil its obligations under the Paris climate change agreement if the Federal Government continues to ignore the health risks associated with climate change, experts warn.
A new report developed by Australian health groups and supported by leading health and medical experts outlines how Australia overlooks the health implications of climate change, leaving Australians vulnerable and the health sector underprepared.
Nobel Laureate for Medicine Professor Peter Doherty says the Health Department insists climate change mitigation is not of relevance to the portfolio, despite world health agencies naming climate change as the greatest threat to global health in the 21st Century.
“Heatwaves, heavy and sudden rainfall, flash flooding, and explosive bushfires pose obvious and serious risks to people’s health, both during the disaster and in the weeks and months following. These events are increasing as average temperatures rise,” Professor Doherty said.
Professor Doherty says Australia has no choice but to act.
11 July 2016
The human toll of manmade climate change has become clearer today with scientists in Europe finding it’s to blame for hundreds of heatwave deaths.
The team of scientists studied Europe’s deadly 2003 heatwave, using modelling to calculate that the majority of the 735 heat-related deaths recorded in central Paris were due to human-induced climate change.
The study, published in the Environmental Research Letters journal, also found manmade climate change had increased the risk of heat-related deaths by about 70% in central Paris and 20% in London.
Climate and Health Alliance president and heat and health researcher Dr Liz Hanna says it’s a groundbreaking study.
“This research is highly significant, as we can now separate the numbers – those who would have died in a naturally occurring heatwave, and the numbers who died because of burning fossil fuels and other activities contributing to climate change,” Dr Hanna said.
“We can now track the line of responsibility. Human-induced climate change is killing people and more must be done to avoid future deaths.”
20 June 2016
Most political parties in Australia do not have a clear commitment to tackling the risks of climate change on health and wellbeing, recent polling and policy analysis shows.
The Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) has released a scorecard rating the policies of Australia’s main political parties on climate change and health.
They show the Greens are the best performing party when it comes to protecting the community from the health impacts of climate change. The ALP trails the Greens with only two policies to tackle the issue. Neither the Liberal and National parties have any policies to address the health impacts of climate change.
“The major parties in Australia are missing in action when it comes to protecting the health of the population from threats of climate change,” Dr Liz Hanna, President of the Climate and Health Alliance said.
8 June 2016
Federal election: Time running out for politicians to explain how they will protect people from worsening health impacts of climate change
A surveys from the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) has been distributed to the Liberal Party, The Nationals, the ALP, The Greens, the Democratic Liberal Party and the Nick Xenophon Party in the lead up to the July 2 election. Among other issues the survey assesses political support for the creation of a national climate and health strategy, greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, phasing out of coal and unconventional gas mining, and a national moratorium of new mines.
The deadline for responses to the survey has been extended to 9th June. The 2016 Climate and Health Scorecard will be released on 20th June 2016..
A copy of the CAHA Climate and Health Policy survey distributed to political parties is available here.
18 May 2016
Climate and Health Alliance (Australia), Australian Health Promotion Association and Doctors Reform Society are among 82 organisations signing a Global Health Statement outlining the huge benefits to both human health and economies from shifting away from coal.
The groups in Australia are part of a global effort involving more than 300,000 doctors, nurses and public health professionals and advocates from 30 countries calling on G7 nations, meeting in Japan this month, to accelerate the transition away from coal to save lives.
Signatories to the Global Health Statement say all G7 countries need to speed their efforts to phase out coal to prevent the worst health effects of climate change. They say momentum is building among many G7 countries, but Australia is moving in the opposite direction, expanding coal and failing to support the transition to renewable energy.
4 May 2016
The Victorian Government’s promise to ramp up health services in the Latrobe Valley is yet more evidence that the mining and burning of coal hurts communities, the Climate and Health Alliance said.
The Victorian state government has announced it will spend $51.2 million in response to the inquiry into the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire, which revealed the event led to deaths and compromised the health of the community and emergency workers.
The Climate and Health Alliance’s Fiona Armstrong says it’s a welcome commitment.
“The Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire remains a sobering reminder of the dangers of coal mining and coal combustion for electricity. There are massive and an unacceptable risks associated with coal mining for communities and public health,” Ms Armstrong said.
28 April 2016
The health of all coal workers should be assessed and monitored as part of a comprehensive response to the Senate inquiry into the re-emergence of black lung disease in Queensland, the Climate and Health Alliance said today.
The Senate Select Committee for Health report into recent cases in Queensland found both industry and government failures, with inadequate regulation of workplace exposures, as well as poor health monitoring procedures for people and workers at risk.
Climate and Health Alliance Executive Director Fiona Armstrong said: “This report reveals a shocking truth about coal mining: that as well as being environmentally destructive, it can also be deadly for workers.”
17 April 2016
The Climate and Health Alliance and Doctors for the Environment, Australia have released a joint report: Investing in Health, on the case for health and medical professionals and health and medical organisations to divest from climate changing fossil fuel investments, and shift their financial resources to clean, healthy, low carbon investments.
Investing in Health is produced by leading advocacy groups the Climate and Health Alliance and Doctors for the Environment Australia, with a foreword by Laureate Professor Nicholas J Talley, President Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
CAHA Vice President Dr Peter Sainsbury said: “Health professionals and their representative organisations have led movements to divest from tobacco, weapons, and gambling industries – it’s now time for health leadership on divesting from fossil fuels.”
A new national assessment from the US federal government reveals serious risks to the health of the US population from climate change. CAHA released a statement in response to the report, highlighting the failure of the Australian government and in particular, the federal health portfolio, to exercise leadership in taking steps to protect the health of Australians from climate change.
The report The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment represents the combined efforts eight federal agencies, and over 100 experts, and provides an assessment on risks to health to US citizens. It forms part of a comprehensive response to the health impacts of climate change, led by the White House.
2014 Media Releases
2013 Media Releases