The release of the Bureau of Meteorology's Australia in summer 2019–20 report confirming that last summer was the second hottest on record is growing evidence of the health emergency of climate change, Climate and Health Alliance Executive Director Fiona Armstrong said.
"The last summer revealed just how climate change is threatening people's lives. As experts have been warning, global warming and climate change constitute a health emergency," Ms Armstrong said.
"From the deaths and injuries caused by the bushfires, to millions of Australians being exposed to extremely hazardous levels of air pollution, rising global temperatures and worsening climate change is having devastating impacts on our health right now.
"We know higher temperatures and longer, more extreme heatwaves are leading to increases in heat-related illnesses and deaths.
"The Federal government and all of our elected representatives must acknowledge their duty of care to protect the population and prioritise action on climate change to protect our health.
"This requires urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by phasing out coal and other fossil fuels, and committing to a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, a strategy which has the strong support of over 50 health and medical groups.
"Continuing along the path of inaction, or worse, government support for new coal-fired power stations or coal mines, poses a direct threat to public health."
Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0424 885 387, [email protected]
For more information, visit http://climatehealthemergency.org.