Towards a National Strategy on Climate, Health, and Well-being for Australia
This builds on work done in 2013 when CAHA first called a National Plan for Climate Health and Well-being in Australia.
Since early 2016, we have been working with a broad cross section of health stakeholders to identify their concerns and priorities for addressing the health impacts of climate change in Australia, and are using this to develop a Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia.
Release of the Framework for a National Strategy
In June 2017, the Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia was launched at Parliament House in Canberra.
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.
This Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia provides a roadmap to support the Commonwealth Government in taking a leadership role in protecting the health and well-being of Australian communities from climate change, and in fulfilling its international obligations under the Paris Agreement.
More information about this collaborative campaign is available at
This paper first reviews the health impacts of climate change in Australia. It then examines the current national climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, especially the extent to which they acknowledge and respond to the impacts of climate change on human health and the health sector.
Finally, the key elements of a National Strategy for Climate, Health and Well-being are outlined.
In September 2016, we released a Preliminary Report of responses to Discussion Paper via the online survey. This survey also evaluated respondents’ knowledge and awareness regarding the health impacts of climate change, views on current national climate policy, and support for a National Strategy.
Over 98% of respondents support a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia!
In August 2016, a nine day Climate, Health & Well-being Online Discussion Forum was held to provide health stakeholders with another opportunity to respond to the ideas raised in the Discussion Paper: Towards a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, and to share their ideas regarding the key themes and priorities for a future national policy framework.
The Online Forum had 42 active participants, and included clinicians, senior health leaders, policy experts, researchers and academics. Click here for a Report from the Climate, Health and Well-being Online Discussion Forum.
A Health Leaders Roundtable was held in Canberra on 11 October 2016 to enable leaders from major health sector stakeholders to meet with politicians from the federal government, the opposition and the Greens, and to discuss the key elements for a national strategy.
The Final Consultation Report was released in May 2017, detailing findings from the survey accompanying the Discussion Paper, the Online Discussion Forum, and the Health Leaders Roundtable. It echoes the above findings that health professionals and leaders support a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being. It also demonstrates their high level of climate literacy and willingness to provide support to government and political parties in the development and implementation of a national strategy.
You can read the full Final Consultation Report here.
See the key resources for the campaign below:
We are waiting on a response to this letter to Health Minister Greg Hunt. Read the letter from CAHA to the former Health Minister, Sussan Ley, here.
Want to support a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being? Click here to send an e-mail to your local MP and Senators.
Find out more and get involved on our campaign website
Climate resilience standards for healthcare
What work has been done on this previously?
A National Strategy for Climate, Health and Well-being (2013)In the lead-up to the 2013 federal election, CAHA led a consultation with its member groups and developed the following position regarding a National Strategy for Climate, Health and Wellbeing.
- A national strategy was required to outline Australia's response to the health risks from climate change and the carbon intensive national economy;
- This should include strategies to improve the preparedness and ability of the healthcare sector to respond to climate threats to health, including from extreme weather events;
- Climate resilience in the healthcare sector should be supported through the establishment of a national sustainable healthcare unit in the Department of Health and Ageing to drive change towards low carbon operations in the health sector;
- The nomination of or establishment of a national agency with responsibility for developing and coordinating policy and research consistent with the National Strategy for Climate, Health and Wellbeing was required.
The functions of this agency were envisioned to include:
- evaluation and reporting on risks to health from climate change and on health benefits from reducing emissions
- development and monitoring of health impact assessment processes to evaluate the health impacts of policies, plans and projects across sectors, in particular in relation to energy and transport infrastructure projects
- implementation of an evidence-based climate and health-in-all-policies approach to all policy development
- the development and delivery of educational campaigns to inform the community on links between climate change, emissions and health and wellbeing