federal election 2013

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Health groups put climate first in election poll

The Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) two key policy priorities for the next term of parliament: CAHA is calling for strong emissions reductions as an important public health measure and a national strategy on climate change and health as the prescription for political parties looking for a winning formula in the upcoming federal election. The health sector is already under pressure, and extreme weather events will only increase the burden on health professionals, the health system and the community. Australia needs to substantively increase its emissions reductions to contribute to the global effort to limit the adverse impacts of climate change on human health and welfare both in Australia and around the world. Here's how we rated the political parties on their commitments so far:  

See below for more information of CAHA's Key Policy Priorities:

  1. Emissions Reductions Strategies to Protect and Promote Health

  2. National Plan for Climate and Health and Well-being

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1. In terms of emissions reductions, CAHA is advocating for:

  • Australia to commit to stronger emissions reductions targets of 50% by 2020 and 80% by 2050*
  • Expansion of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) to 60% by 2020
  • Expansion of the carbon price to include more industries (e.g. transport)
  • Removal of fossil fuel subsidies and redirection of funds towards renewables
  • Development of sector specific incentives to encourage emissions reductions in all sectors
  • Complementary measures to promote renewable energy, such as loan guarantees and feed in tariffs
  • A national plan to transition away from fossil fuels, including cessation of coal exports
  • A moratorium on unconventional gas

*Of 1990 levels. See den Elzen, M. et al. Analysing the greenhouse gas emissions reductions of the mitigation action plans by non Annexe 1 countries by 2020, Energy Policy, 2013, 56, pp.633-643.

2. With regard to the National Strategy for Climate, Health and Wellbeing, CAHA is seeking:

  • A national strategy to outline Australia's response to climate risks to health
  • Strategies to improve the preparedness of the healthcare sector to respond to climate change, including extreme weather
  • Establishment of a national sustainable healthcare unit in the Department of Health and Ageing
  • The nomination of or establishment of a national agency with responsibility for developing and coordinating climate and health policy and research
  • For its functions to include:
    • Evaluation and reporting on risks to health and health benefits from cutting emissions
    • Development and monitoring of health impact assessments, in particular for energy and transport projects
    • An evidence-based climate and health-in-all-policies approach to all policy development
    • National educational campaigns re climate change, emissions, and health and well-being

Download a summary of CAHA's 2013 Federal Election Platform here.

Read the full CAHA Federal Election 2013 Policy Platform here.