Welcome to the October Climate and Health News. This edition is packed full of news, events and information, keeping you up to date with what’s happening in the world of climate and health.
Please contact the Climate and Health Alliance if you have any upcoming events, information or any other suggestions for our newsletter.
Climate and Health Alliance
On September 21st 2018 there was a full house at the Climate and Health Symposium in Melbourne to discuss the question: "Climate change is a health issue. What will it take to get action to respond?"
The Symposium heard lightning talks from Harriet McCallum at the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, Dianna MacDonald at Sustainability Victoria, Ying Zhang from University of Sydney, Cath O'Shea from Western Health, Joanne Walker from National Rural Health Alliance, and Michelle Isles from ClimateWorks. The subsequent discussion explored ideas around policy, advocacy, research, education and communication on climate change and health and contributed great ideas about future opportunities for action.
A livestream video of the Symposium was broadcast on Facebook, so if you missed it, it is now available to watch online.
The latest IPCC report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C was released on October 8, 2018, after 6 days of intense negotiations.
The report, compiling findings from more than 6000 scientific publications, emphasises that climate change is already affecting people, ecosystems and livelihoods all around the world, and that urgent, "unprecedented transitions" are required to limit warming to 1.5 °C. The report includes acknowledgement of both the health risks posed by 1.5 and 2 degrees of warming, as well as the health co-benefits of emissions reduction.
In the press conference marking the release of the report, the working group chairs emphasised the report did not aspire to answer the question of feasibility, but did identify six conditions that need to be met to make 1.5°C achievable. The report concluded that, yes, keeping warming to 1.5°C is possible within the laws of physics and chemistry, the other conditions - behavioural, lifestyle and investment changes, as well as political and institutional requirements - will need decisive and immediate action by nation states.
In mid September, CAHA Executive Director Fiona Armstrong and AMSA delegate Katherine Middleton attended the Global Climate Action Summit in California, sharing CAHA's work at two Summit affiliated events. The Summit aimed to build action across all areas of society, including health helping to put us on track to prevent dangerous climate change and realise the historic Paris Agreement.
The Global Climate and Health Forum focused on the role of the health sector in advocating for climate action and reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions. The Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia attracted plenty of attention. If you would like the Australian government to take action and implement this Strategy, send your MP an email using this link now to let them know!
At the Global Climate and Health Forum, leading healthcare systems and health organisations, including Health Care Without Harm, announced a Call to Action on Climate and Health to inspire stronger advocacy and action in addressing climate change.
Read more here
Sign the Call to Action here
What are the predicted impacts of climate change on Australia? Buckled train tracks, grounded planes, melting bitumen and massive blackouts ... what about the health of the community?
On Tuesday 11th September, the Queensland Health Minister launched the Queensland Health and Wellbeing Climate Adaptation Plan (H-CAP).
This marked the culmination of a joint effort between the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), supported by Queensland Health.
The H-CAP aims to address the risks posed by climate change to the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders and harness the opportunities that being innovative and building resilience can bring.
This is an important step, but there is still much more to do secure a comprehensive response to address the health impacts of climate change.
Globally and locally, critical issues like the spread of disease, water scarcity and nutrition are intimately related to the changing climate, making it essential for researchers studying human health to be fully engaged in inquiries and policy deliberations related to climate impacts.
30 October - 2 November 2018
Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle WA
The Environmental Health Australia conference aims to enhance knowledge in the diverse range of issues that are dealt with by Environmental Health Practitioners and allow delegates networking opportunities during the break and social functions.
CAHA is pleased to promote the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Health Promotion Conference in Rotorua, New Zealand, in April 2019.
The theme for the 2019 event is WAIORA: Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All.
12 October, 6.15pm
Federation Square, Melbourne
CAHA, along with other local environmental groups, are set to shine at the 2018 Festival, thanks to a new series of short films created to raise awareness and drive positive environmental change. EFFA’s Community Storytelling Project supported grassroots environmental groups to create their own short films using smartphones, to capture and share their stories. CAHA's very own short film will be screening before 'The Reluctant Radical' at ACMI on Friday 12 October.
New research from C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the New Climate Institute shows that climate action, such as doubling bus network coverage and frequency in cities, could prevent the premature deaths of over one million people per year from air pollution and traffic accidents.
This health impact of air pollution is increasingly acknowledged by the international community, and the World Health Organization is hosting the first Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health from 30 October to 1 November.
Former President of the Climate and Health Alliance, Peter Sainsbury, writes in Pearls and Irritations on the need for a drastic shakeup to the political status quo to ensure action on climate change.
After smoking and drink-driving, could climate change provide the next big behaviour-change challenge? The latest science tells us that nothing short of rapid, transformative change in our infrastructure and behaviour can prevent the loss of the climate we depend on – yet the message is only now being officially endorsed at the highest scientific level, because the implications are terrifying for today’s political and economic gatekeepers.
How two conferences, the Climate and Health Symposium in Melbourne, and the Australian Public Health Conference in Cairns, have examined the policy options in Australia.
On Queenland's massive policy incongruity; working hard to adapt to climate change, but enabling the development of a massive new coal mine that will lock us onto a dangerous global warming trajectory for several more decades.
Become a Climate Health Champion
Are you concerned about climate change and want to do something, but are not sure how? Sign up for our one-day skills workshop to build your skills and become a confident Climate-Health Champion.
We're looking for people who want to help lead this effort by becoming Climate Health Champions. We're after people who are passionate about change, willing to develop skills, and want to be part of leading an effective movement for climate action.
This program is delivered by expert trainers and campaigners, and will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to:
Understand the effects of climate change on health and wellbeing
Use your experience as a health professional to compel others to take action
Become an integral part of a community campaign for climate action
Develop core advocacy and campaigning skills
Build relationships and a supportive network
We are planning our next workshop to run in Brisbane in November, with other states following in 2019. Please email Our Climate, Our Health Organiser Paul Benson to register your interest. If you think you know people in your network who might be interested in this opportunity, please share this email and encourage them to get in touch.
In 2015, governments asked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the world’s most authoritative climate science body – to advise on how the world can limit global warming to 1.5°C and to examine climate impacts at this level of warming. This report will be released on October 8, 2018.
This briefing addresses some frequently asked questions about limiting global warming to 1.5°C, and explains some of the key issues that will be covered by the IPCC’s latest report. It has been prepared by Climate KIC, Environment Victoria, Australian Conservation Foundation, Future Earth, and Climate and Health Alliance.
Climate Trackers with representatives from WHO have released an important health report on the climate and health science interactions in relation to the recent IPCC report. The paper reiterates that climate change affects health in a number of ways including through extreme weather, infectious disease, & water & food insecurity.
In addition it points out - what many of you will already know - that actions to keep warming below 1.5C would have positive effects on health, i.e. reducing the intolerable death rate from air pollution. Read the report here
Environmental Justice Australia is seeking applications from an experienced campaigner with a track record of success to join their established coal and health campaign. The role will help develop and implement campaign strategies to improve regulation of air pollution from coal fired power stations at state and national levels.
Thu, Oct 25, 2018 3:00 PM - 3:45pm
On 1 July 2019 the Victorian Government will introduce legislation banning all e-waste from landfill, this includes hospital equipment.
The webinar (link below) includes representatives from DHHS, EPA, DELWP & Sustainability Victoria & covers how this change will affect health services & how your health service can prepare.
This newsletter is brought to you by the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA). Did you know individuals, as well as organisations, can join CAHA? If you like what we do, and would like to support our work, please join and become a member of the Climate and Health Alliance. You will be joining a dynamic effort to ensure people's health and well-being is central to national and global efforts to respond to climate change. To join CAHA, follow this link!