National Health and Climate Strategy must be rapidly implemented to “save lives”: peak body

Wednesday 13 December 2023

The National Health and Climate Strategy is a good start towards tackling the health impacts of climate change, but urgently needs an implementation plan and substantial funding to meet its potential to “save lives”, says the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA).

As Australia’s peak body on climate and health, CAHA has today released their analysis of Australia’s first Health and Climate Strategy, launched on 3rd December at COP28. 

CAHA Policy & Advocacy Manager, Chelsea Hunnisett said, “CAHA welcomes the launch of the Strategy, and congratulates Assistant Minister Kearney and the dedicated team of the National Health, Sustainability and Climate Unit on their commitment to its development.

“CAHA wants to see the Strategy meet its full potential to protect health and save lives, while reducing emissions and increasing resilience in the health sector. 

“But without a commitment to funding or implementation, it remains unclear what impact the Strategy will have. If the Commonwealth does not urgently roll out this strategy, climate change will overburden our health systems, compromise people’s health and ultimately cost lives.

“The case for ambitious action on the climate-health nexus has never been more urgent. With the world watching, and a bid to co-host COP31 with Pacific partners underway, Australia has the opportunity to be a global leader on climate and health. It’s now the Commonwealth’s moment to lose.

“There is little choice for our leaders but to step up and address the health effects of climate change with urgency. The 26 million people living in Australia today, and the generations of Australians to come, depend on it.

“CAHA looks forward to ongoing engagement with members, allies and government stakeholders in the implementation of the Strategy, and will update this scorecard mid-year 2024.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Sally Spalding, [email protected], 0401 184 986

See the full analysis and scorecard