CAHA has reached a significant milestone in 2020 – 10 years of advocacy action to mobilise the health sector and policymakers to acknowledge and respond to the evidence about the health impacts of climate change in our communities, both in Australia and internationally. Despite significant challenges in terms of climate-related catastrophes and a global pandemic, this year has been a year of steady growth and consolidation for CAHA. We have grown more in the last year than ever before, we’ve attracted new sources of funding and we’ve built a strong team with a diverse skill set, with CAHA benefitting as more ideas and passion are directed towards our goals. As a relatively small not-for-profit nongovernmental organisation (NGO), CAHA continues to ‘punch well above its weight’. It is hoped that the next decade brings some of the changes that we have been advocating and governments that take their responsibilities seriously and set policy objectives that see the planet and its inhabitants having a healthy future. Read more here.
During 2018-19, CAHA continued to play a leadership role in leading the Our Climate Our Health campaign for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being, particularly in the lead up to the federal election, and growing and supporting the Australian and New Zealand network of Global Green and Healthy Hospitals. Both programs have secured widespread support and seen rapid growth in the participation and engagement of organisations and individuals in advocating for policy and taking steps to reduce the carbon and environmental footprint of healthcare. We welcomed five new organisational members this year. As CAHA President Amanda Adrian says: "As the climate change and health evidence grows more alarming, it is heartening to know that increasing numbers in our community are ‘getting it’ and are prepared to take action." Read more here.
Core initiatives at CAHA in 2017/18 have been focused on advocacy for policy - at local, state and federal level - with a key focus on promoting the Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being and promoting and supporting a sustainable healthcare agenda through the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Pacific region. Other advocacy for policy efforts include submissions to the ALP Policy Platform as well as to inquiries on climate change impacts on infrastructure and national security, and regulation of coal-fired power stations in Victoria. CAHA continues to contribute to global stewardship on climate change and health through its participation in the Global Climate and Health Alliance. CAHA contributes to the development of global projects and participates in advocacy at the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Read more here.
The Global Green and Healthy Hospitals program (GGHH) and the Our Climate Our Health campaign for a Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Wellbeing for Australia have been the focus of CAHA’s activity during the past year. Both initiatives have met with considerable success. The GGHH network continues to expand throughout Australia and New Zealand and provides much needed resources and support to hospitals and health services to become more environmentally sustainable and better prepared for the health effects of climate change. The National Strategy campaign has been immensely successful, both through the research and policy development activities and the outreach and engagement effort. The success of the latter being well demonstrated by the 30-plus health organisations formally and actively supporting the campaign. Read more here.
This year CAHA produced more publications than in any other year, with the World Federation of Public Health Associations report: Climate Change and Health Policy Assessment: A Global Survey (a project led by CAHA), our first joint publication with Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA): Investing in Health: The Australian health professions and fossil fuel divestment, the release of our Discussion Paper: Towards a National Strategy on Climate Health and Well-being for Australia to kick off a national consultation and the very exciting campaign to secure this strategy, and the report from the survey accompanying the Discussion Paper: Survey of Health Professional’s Opinions Around a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia. Read more here.
CAHA produced some important publications this year, in particular the Coal and Health in the Hunter report which attracted considerable media attention and helped influence the media narrative during the 2015 NSW election campaign, making coal a key election issue. CAHA contributed several submissions to government inquiries and consultations, perhaps most significantly on emissions reduction targets to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, calling for emissions reductions as quickly as possible to negative net emissions by 2050. Read more here.
CAHA has continued its leadership on climate, energy and health policy, contributing to submissions to inquiries and public consultations, and leading the development of a joint Position Paper and Background Paper on Health and Energy Choices, produced by a collaboration of health groups, which outlines the evidence on the health implications of energy choices, points to the dangers of fossil fuels, and makes recommendations for action. This marks the strongest position taken by such a collaboration of health groups anywhere in the world in pointing to the risks from fossil fuels, and calling for action: from governments, businesses, communities, and the health sector. Read more here.
In this report, we share the activities and campaigns that have contributed to CAHA further developing its national and international reputation for leading a dynamic agenda of advocacy on climate and health issues – underscored by a high level of professionalism and scientific rigour. The last year has been another amazing year in the development of CAHA’s advocacy and outreach efforts. We have further strengthened our Alliance with some great networking at key events, and used our collective position on key issues around climate and energy and health to advance our advocacy on key policy issues such as Australia’s national emissions reduction targets, the national renewable energy target, regulation around air pollution and coal seam gas mining and exploration and national energy policy more broadly. Read more here.
What a busy year! The Climate and Health Alliance helped kick-started a sustainable healthcare agenda by co-hosting the Greening the Healthcare Sector Think Tank with AHHA; helped launch the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network in Australia with Health Care Without Harm; released an important report with the Climate Institute – Our Uncashed Dividend: The Health Benefits of Climate Action; and led the development of a global statement on climate and health: the Doha Declaration – signed by hundreds of organisations representing millions of health professional around the world, calling for health to be prioritised in global and national responses to climate change. Read more here.
Our first ever! The Climate and Health Alliance accomplished a great deal in its first year. We’ve been to Canberra and to Durban, got some of the country’s most significant healthcare stakeholders on board, produced some important papers and shared lots of resources on climate and health, distributed our newsletter to hundreds of subscribers, influenced the advocacy of other groups with the ‘health’ message, inspired others to take action, and established important partnerships with other stakeholders. Read more here.