The Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) welcomes funding in the May 9 Commonwealth Budget that will move Australia towards a cleaner, healthier and more just world. However the pace and scale of action needed must be drastically increased to deliver the transformation that climate science tells us we need. Read the full analysis
“This year's budget represents an important departure from those of recent memory”, CEO of CAHA, Roland Sapsford said. “The climate and health movement has been knocking on the door of the Commonwealth Government for a decade or more, and is finally seeing a shift towards meaningful change.
“There is much to celebrate in the Albanese Government's climate funding in this budget. Progress is also being made to prioritising more equitable access to health services and reform, as well as driving down cost of living pressures, in this year's budget. Equity is central to building the resilience our communities require in the face of climate change.
“We do, however, continue to have concerns about the lack of dedicated funding to deliver rapid, transformative and joined-up health and climate action across our society. For all our sakes, the weight of evidence must trump the politics of incrementalism,” Mr Sapsford said.
“The latest IPCC findings show that we are on the path to exceeding 1.5 degrees of warming in the next decade. Australia must prepare for the reality of a warmer world and a less stable climate. We must do as much as we can, as quickly as we can, to drive down impacts and protect the wellbeing of current and future generations. ”
“For example, the $1.3b Household Energy Upgrade Fund moves Australia closer towards electrification of the grid, much needed improvements to energy performance, improvements to social housing and reducing cost of living pressures, without increasing carbon emissions. But we will need much more investment in these changes to deliver genuine transformation.
“Equally the establishment of the national Net Zero Authority is a significant structural shift towards Australia achieving a healthy and just energy transformation. In doing this it must ensure that indigenous voices are centred from Day 1, and healthy people and ecosystems are at the core of its activities.
“CAHA seeks to ensure the health sector plays a leading role in restoring a safe climate, and an ecologically sustainable, just and healthy world," said Sapsford. “Our health, and the health of all our communities, is intimately connected with the health of our planet and having a stable climate.
“As the peak body for climate and health in Australia, we look forward to working with the Commonwealth Government to ensure better outcomes for all people in Australia in the face of climate change,” Mr Sapsford said.
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