The latest news in climate and health

Monday 24 October 2022

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Top three reads

CAHA is looking for a senior campaigner

We’re hiring! CAHA is looking for a campaigner to lead our national sustainable transport campaign, Healthy Transport Choices. The campaign will activate health voices and build an evidence-based and solutions-focussed health campaign to champion the benefits of decarbonised transport. Please share this opportunity far and wide – and apply if you’re a good fit!

September was a big month for climate and health

In early September, 40+ health leaders gathered at our first Better Healthier Futures Roundtable to make progress on the national strategy for climate, health and well-being. Here's the joint statement which came out of the roundtable.

The same day, Independent MP for Mackellar, Dr Sophie Scamps brought a debate in the Parliament about the National Strategy, which was supported and commented upon by several MPs. See the full video and transcript here.

Watch back: Always Caring for Country with Dr Janine Mohamed and Dr Summer May Finlay

In September, CAHA and the Lowitja Institute co-hosted an incredible conversation between Dr Janine Mohamed and Dr Summer May Finlay on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in responding to climate change. They covered a lot in one hour, from the Voice to Parliament to strength-based framing, to climate action led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Watch it back or read Croakey coverage of the webinar.

Healthy Conversation is our monthly forum for learning about all things climate and health. You can watch back older sessions:

News

Watch: A new ad for the Voice to Parliament campaign from Uluru Statement

Please watch this inspiring video and share it widely. CAHA strongly endorses the Uluru Statement, and we will actively promote our support for a First Nations Voice to Parliament. We call on all sides of politics to do the same.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led campaigns are winning

So many recent wins in climate campaigns led by Traditional Owners!

Tiwi Islands’ Munupi elder and Senior Lawman Dennis Tipakalipp defeated Santos in a landmark court case. The Federal Court found that Santos failed to consult Tiwi Traditional Owners as required, and the company must now vacate the Barossa field. The case is being appealed by Santos. Read the story

Origin Energy has withdrawn from the Beetaloo Basin and the Kimberley. “Whether it’s Origin, Tamboran, Santos or any other company, Traditional Owners will continue our opposition to fracking which we worry will damage our country, water, sacred sites and songlines,” said Johnny Wilson, NNTAC spokesperson. Read the story

The UN has found that Australia’s climate inaction violates Torres Strait Islanders’ human rights. The decision calls on the government to pay compensation to Torres Strait Islander residents. Read the story

Traditional owners across the Yeelirrie area have welcomed the expiry of the environmental approval to mine uranium on their land, which they have fought against since the 1970s. Read the story

With so much rain, keep an eye out for mould

Mould can grow at any time, but is more common during heavy rain and flooding. Breathing in mould can irritate airways and trigger allergies, leading to asthma flare-ups and a range of other health problems. This Asthma Australia fact sheet has tips for getting rid of mould and protecting your health.

NSW Ministry of Health joins the Global Green & Healthy Hospitals Pacific Network

We are delighted to welcome the NSW Ministry of Health to GGHH Pacific, our sustainable healthcare network! NSW Health now joins health departments in Victoria, Queensland, ACT and WA as official members of the network.

Our home, our body, our planet

CAHA volunteer and member, Takuzo Kimura is a physiotherapist with a passion for planetary health and holistic practice. He reflects on the links between our internal and external worlds, and the health benefits of nature for PHAA’s InTouch blog. Thanks, Taku!

Good climate-health news from overseas!

The Philippines Department of Health has called for the creation of a national action plan against the use of fossil fuels, due to its detrimental effects on respiratory health. Congratulations to our allies in southeast Asia for this fantastic result of local organising.

Climate communicators are truly everywhere

We loved this story of a Sydney hairdresser who uses her sessions with clients to discuss climate change. An amazing example of leading from where you are. We can all do this!

Advocacy

Research opportunity for psychologists

Australian psychologists (provisional, fully registered and/or endorsed) are invited to complete this 10-minute online questionnaire on how prepared you feel and how professionally engaged you are on climate change. Complete the survey

An important 'letition' to stop the Viva Gas Terminal

The Victorian Government is about to make a decision regarding the Viva Energy Gas Terminal in Corio Bay, Geelong. A Different Approach Community is running a coordinated 'letition’ a mix between a letter and a petition — to oppose the project. Take part here

Email your Council! A ban on fossil fuel advertising

The Fossil Ad Ban campaign is going from strength to strength. Seven councils in Australia have now voted to ban fossil fuel advertising on council property. A Bill was also introduced to NSW parliament, citing public health concerns as the primary driver.

You’re invited to email your local council to ask for the same thing! It takes two minutes – email now!

Share your climate justice story to support court case

Uncle Pabai and Uncle Paul are Guda Maluyligal men from the Torres Strait. They are taking the Australian government to court “to save our island homes”. To support their case, you're invited to share your story about how climate change is affecting your own life, to show that climate justice is an important issue for diverse peoples across Australia.

Events

Webinar | Climate Change Advocacy: Global to Local

Australian Health Promotion Association // 6pm AEDT on Mon 31 Oct, online // tickets available, free for AHPA members

AHPA is hosting an exciting webinar on science and art of effective advocacy – and how to apply it locally to stop climate change. Advocacy trailblazers, Dr Melissa Sweet, journalist, and Dr Nicole Sleeman, GP, will empower attendees to act for change! RSVP now

Panel | Launch of MJA-Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health & climate change

MJA and The Lancet // 5.30pm AEDT on Wed 2 Nov, Canberra and online // free

Hear from health experts at the Australian launch of the MJA-Lancet Countdown, the annual benchmark report on climate change and health. Special guests include Tim Flannery, environmental scientist, and Dan Ilic, comedian. RSVP now

Conference | HEAL 2022

Healthy Environments and Lives (HEAL) Research Network // 23-24 November, across Australia and online // tickets available

This two-day conference will be an inspirational forum for knowledge transfer, scientific debate, and community-wide conversations about research and policy priority setting on human health, climate and environmental change solutions in Australia. Read more

Webinar | In conversation with Glenn Albrecht

Psychology for a Safe Climate // 6pm on Tue 15 Nov, online // free

Glenn Albrecht is a transdisciplinary philosopher who has become well known for creating the concept of ‘solastalgia.’ Solastalgia is defined as the distress and loss of solace connected to a person’s lived experience of the chronic desolation of a loved home environment by transformational agents such as mining and climate change. RSVP now

Training | Media Training 101 for health professionals

Climate and Health Alliance // 5.30pm on 30 Nov, online // free

Come to our beginner media training for health professionals interested in developing their skills in speaking with the media on climate change and health. The training is free to attend and will cover

  • How to talk about climate change and health — and how not to talk about climate change and health
  • How to get key messages across in a short interview
  • Speaking and working with journalists

RSVP now

Conference | VicHealth Space Invaders

VicHealth // 30 Nov-1 Dec, Melbourne and online // free

Hosted by VicHealth, this two day conference will feature presentations and workshops on monitoring, researching and exposing harmful industry tactics, and examples of stories and action across diverse sectors. Register now

Conference | Green Hospitals Asia

Health Care Without Harm, Southeast Asia // 1-3 Feb 2023, Kalapet, India // tickets available

The next Green Hospitals Asian Conference will cover healthcare climate leadership, low-carbon and resilient healthcare, waste management, green procurement, among other interesting and important topics. Read more

Conference | Australasian Nutrition in Health 2023

Doctors for Nutrition // 17-19 Feb 2023, Melbourne // tickets available

CAHA member Doctors for Nutrition invites you to their 2023 conference in Melbourne. Some of the biggest names in whole food plant-based nutrition and healthcare will share their research, including:

  • Prof Boyd Swinburn, Population Nutrition & Global Health at the University of Auckland, on how the health effects of climate change will compound current nutrition challenges;
  • Dr Peter Johnston, dietitian, talking about food systems and the environment.

Register now

Research and resources

New from CAHA submissions

  • Report on the Better Healthier Futures Roundtable
  • Submission in response to the Safeguard Mechanism

Health voices shaping the climate agenda: how health advocacy influenced Australia’s ‘climate election’

Journal of Climate Change & Health, Aug 2022

Read this new journal article by CAHA staff on the role of the health sector in pushing climate action to the top of the agenda during Australia’s federal election earlier in the year. Read more

Indigenous Nation Building and the Political Determinants of Health and Wellbeing

The Lowitja Institute, Aug 2022

The discussion paper has been published by the Lowitja Institute in partnership with the UTS Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research. It demonstrates that self-governance and self-determination through nation building results in improved health outcomes for Indigenous peoples. Read more

Healthcare workers’ resilience toolkit for disaster management and climate change adaptation

International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, Sep 2022

This study explored factors influencing healthcare workers’ disaster management capabilities with the aim of improving their resilience and adaptive capacity in the face of climate change. Read more

Harnessing the pillars of institutions to drive environmentally sustainable hospital foodservices

Frontiers in Nutrition, Sep 2022

CAHA Sustainable Healthcare Program Manager, Dr Stefanie Carino has written an article for Frontiers in Nutrition on how to drive long-term sustainable change in hospital foodservices. Read more

Disaster diplomacy in the wake of the 2022 Pakistan floods

The Lancet Planetary Health, Oct 2022

CAHA Advocacy and Policy Manager, Arthur Wyns has written a new article on loss and damage relating to the Pakistan floods. Read more

Climate change, society and health inequities

Medical Journal of Australia, Oct 2022

Professor Sharon Friel calls for the health community to advocate for policy to “avert a planetary health inequity crisis.” Read more

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