Advocating for government action on climate and health

The Climate and Health Alliance works extensively on policy and advocacy at a national, state and global level to promote pathways to positive health and climate outcomes.

 

Healthy, Regenerative and Just. That’s our vision.

In 2020, Climate and Health Alliance brought together over 100 thought leaders with futures experts for a Rewrite the Future Roundtable series to discuss possible alternative futures for Australia in 2030.

The resulting scenarios (Head in the Sand, Short Memory, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, We Can Do This, and Our Island Home) describe the future we might expect from a range of different pathways.

Guided by futures experts, and drawing on the expertise of the thought leaders, four narratives seek to answer the question/s: What will Australia look like in a decade if: there is no [policy] change; marginal change; maladaptive change; or radical transformative change?  

The elements of a preferred integrated scenario were also surfaced during a process of 'backcasting', i.e. how do we get to our preferred future? This informed the development of the Healthy, Regenerative and Just policy agenda as the roadmap to the preferred future.

The development of each of the scenarios considered the different social, technological, ethical, environmental, legal, ethical, and governance issues that might arise, and each scenario is accompanied by two case studies which describe the life of someone living in that scenario in 2030. 

Two publications emerged:

 

The Australia in 2030 scenarios aim to help decision makers and the wider community better understand the consequences associated with different policy choices, and to build consensus around a shared vision for a healthy, regenerative and just future for all.

The Healthy, Regenerative and Just policy agenda outlines the pathway, and the policies, we need, to get to the future we choose. A healthy, regenerative and just future is available to us. It is scientifically, economically, culturally, socially, and technologically feasible.

Some of the insights from our engagement in futures thinking remind us that:

  • the future will likely be different in many respects from the present;
  • the future is not fixed, but consists of a variety of alternatives;
  • people (i.e. us) are responsible for choosing between those alternatives; and
  • the policies, strategies and actions we choose can help us realise the futures we consider desirable and prevent those we consider undesirable.

Climate and Health Alliance urges decision-makers, fellow collaborators, policymakers, business leaders, civil society, influencers, academics, and the community to use the Australia in 2030 scenarios to provoke discussion, support conversations and dialogue, and to use the Healthy, Regenerative and Just policy agenda to guide policy and planning for the future.

Resources

 

 

Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being, 2017

Over 98% of healthcare stakeholders we surveyed want a national strategy on climate, health and well-being for Australia!

The Climate and Health Alliance has coordinated a health sector-led campaign for a decade, calling on the government to develop a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia. We are calling on all those concerned about the impacts of climate change on health to join us to call for action to respond.

Why do we need a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being?

Climate change is already having significant adverse effects on human health. These include physical and psychological trauma associated with extreme weather events, warmer temperatures contributing to worsening air pollution, spread of infectious diseases, and risks to food and water security, to name a few.

Consultation with healthcare stakeholders shows a majority consider current climate policies to be ineffective.

We have now developed a Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia in collaboration with over thirty health and medical organisations following a year-long national consultation.

The Framework was launched at Parliament House in Canberra in 2017. The Australian Labor Party has committed to implementing a Plan based on this Framework if elected to government as have the Australian Greens. To date, there has been no such commitment from the Coalition.