Health groups call for climate to be recognised in National Preventive Health Strategy

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Over 30 health groups associated with the Climate and Health Alliance have issued a Joint Statement calling on the federal Health Minister to recognise climate change in the National Preventive Health Strategy, currently in development.

The Joint Statement, signed by the Public Health Association of Australia, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, and Australian Association of Social Workers states, "A National Preventive Health Strategy that is fit for purpose in the 21st century must address climate change -- or it will fail in its objectives."

"Climate change must be a central feature of any broad national health strategy. The World Health Organization has described climate change as the defining issue for public health in the 21st century, and it poses significant immediate, medium-term and long-term risks to the health of Australians and communities around the world.

"Without dramatic and urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the health impacts of climate change will escalate and lead to an existential crisis for human civilisation.

"The profound nature and scale of the impacts from climate change mean that climate action is the best opportunity we have this decade to promote human health and well-being.

"Preventing deaths, illnesses and injuries associated with climate change requires leadership from governments to tackle the root causes of climate change, support the health sector and the health professions to build climate resilience, and ensure the community is well informed and capable of taking health protective actions."

Read the Joint Statement here. Read the media release here.

The statement is signed by:

Australian Association of Social Workers
Australasian Epidemiological Association
Australian Health Promotion Association
Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University
Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (national)
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian branch)
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (South Australian branch)
Australian Psychological Society
Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine
Children's Healthcare Australasia
Chronic Illness Alliance
Climate and Health Alliance
Consumers Health Forum of Australia
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food, Monash University
Dietitians Australia
Doctors for the Environment Australia
Doctors Reform Society
Gender and Disaster Pod
Health Nature Sustainability Research Group, Deakin University
HSU Victoria No. 4 Branch
Kooweerup Regional Health Service
Lighter Footprints
Medical Scientists Association of Victoria
New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association

Public Health Association of Australia
Social Workers for Climate Action
Women’s Healthcare Australasia
Women’s Health in the North