media releases

Media contact: Simon Towle

Call 0413 628 638 or email simon.towle@caha.org.au 

2018

19 February 2018

Queenslanders to benefit from health plan to combat climate change impacts

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. 

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2017 

14 November 2017

Medibank divestment from fossil fuels a win for people's health

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.

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31 October 2017

Human lives being lost due to inaction on climate: major new international health study

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.

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22 June 2017

World First: Leading Health Experts Launch a Framework for a National Climate and Health Strategy

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.”

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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. 

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28 March 2017

Latrobe Valley to benefit from cleaner air and better health 

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."

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24 February 2017

Hospitals and health services in Australia and New Zealand recognised as ‘Climate Champions’ in global awards

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.

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2016 

10 October 2016

Australia’s health leaders tackle climate change at Parliament

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.
These include:

• 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

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3 October 2016

Australians left critically vulnerable to climate change: health experts warn

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.”

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21 July 2016

Time for Health Minister to address climate change as a major threat to health

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.

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11 July 2016

Heatwave deaths linked to human-induced climate change

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.”

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20 June 2016

Major political parties fail to protect Australia from climate change health impacts

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.

CAHA 2016 Election Scorecard Social v03

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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

Australian health groups join global call on G7 nations to phase out coal

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.

Read more >>>

 

28 April 2016

Senate Committee Report chronicles deadly risks of coal mining

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.”

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17 April 2016

Investing in Health: New report on the case for fossil fuel divestment 

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.”

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US leadership on climate and health highlights Australia’s failure

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.

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2015 

The Lancet: Landmark new medical research highlights opportunities for better health from strong climate action

Health groups call for tough emissions cuts with no new coal-mines and coal power closure

Obama proclamation on climate change and health puts Australia on notice

Health groups call for coal and health inquiry in light of new pollution data

CAHA responds to misleading claims by NSW Minerals Council in relation to Coal and Health report

Health leaders call on NSW Premier to ban new coal mines in Hunter 

2014 Media Releases

Climate disruption is underway: Australia’s obstruction on policy putting lives at risk

As G20 gets underway, leading health bodies declare Australia’s reliance on coal dangerous for health

Avoiding further global warming can be done cheaply and will improve health

Health care sector explores pathways to low carbon operations 

Abbott refusal to attend UN Climate Summit a risk to national interest: health and medical leaders

Senators urged to vote against repeal: a carbon price is good for health

Federal budget an investment in climate and health damages 

Health and wellbeing the winners in the emerging low carbon world 

Health professionals call for climate action after UN climate change report

WA urged to vote for climate and health in Senate election 

We’re not yet ready for climate change but it’s here now, and harming our health

Answers needed re health of smoke affected community in Morwell

Failure to act on climate change putting the health of Australians at risk

Health groups sound the alarm on Direct Action Plan

2013 Media Releases

Climate change to cause significant loss of life: health research and policy forum

Australian film to carry climate message to Europe, while Government refuses to attend climate talks

IPCC climate science report confirms Australia cannot afford to delay: health experts

Coal and gas harming health and driving climate change: health experts

Click here to view a short version (5 minutes) of The Human Cost of Power.

Health sector thinking green and global for better health

RET, adaptation research and Clean Air Act glimmers of hope in ‘climate-lite’ campaign 

Greens a clear choice on climate change and health

Download the Climate and Health scorecard here.

Health groups put climate first in election poll 

End the age of coal

Coal production putting lives at risk

Lives increasingly at risk from ‘angry climate’

Health groups call for urgent action to address health risks from coal and coal seam gas

Health groups to discuss harm to health from coal, csg

Health bodies warn that heatwaves put health at risk           

2012 

Health is the most important motivation for climate action

New coal and health report welcomed

Major health threat overlooked in national medical research review

Inaction on climate change now a leading cause of deaths globally

New network of sustainable healthcare launched in Australia

Billions in health benefits from targeted climate action

Environmental and health groups welcome ACMA finding against 2GB

Fossil fuel subsidies are harming our health

Energy policy in need of intensive care

Climate action is good for health: Health experts forum at Melbourne festival

Wind power a safe and healthy alternative to fossil fuels

2011 

Action on climate will be good for health

Health must be at the heart of climate talks

Murray Darling draft plan fails to protect health

Expansion of coal must stop, health groups say

Health groups call on Baillieu to stick to emissions target

Health groups prescribe science-based approach to water for the Murray

Abbott is wrong: the carbon price is a public health measure

Baillieu is wrong: the carbon price is good for health

Carbon package a good start but more needed

Health the victim of carbon price fuel exemption

Health groups call for healthy Murray Darling

New study shows rising health penalty from climate change

Carbon price revenue should support health, not polluters

Carbon price must rule out coal

Health groups warn of public health risk from low carbon price

2010 

PC study into climate policy must also consider health costs

Healthy benefits from strong action on climate

Guide to boost climate literacy welcomed – clearly needed in Canberra

Alliance supports climate and health taskforce proposal