A 2015 global survey of national climate change and health plans confirms Australia lags behind comparable countries in responding to the health impacts of climate change.[i]
The results of a Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) survey of major political parties and analysis of 2016 election policies have shown neither of the two major political parties have any substantive policies to reduce the risks to the health of the Australian community from climate change. Meanwhile, at least two highly reputable international medical journals have described climate change as a “health emergency”.[ii] None of the current climate change policies in Australia has been developed with the intention of delivering health, environmental and economic co-benefits, although there is strong evidence that these can be substantial.
The Climate and Health Alliance has developed a Discussion Paper: Towards a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being to stimulate a national dialogue about the key elements of a policy framework for Australia to respond to the health impacts of climate change (website here). This aim of this consultation is to assist in developing a consensus among healthcare stakeholders about the core elements of a National Strategy for Climate, Health and Well-being and mobilise health professionals and organisations in pursuit of this policy goal. Along with the Discussion Paper (available at http://caha.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/CAHA-Discussion-Paper-v04.pdf), we include a link to an online survey to assist in providing feedback on the ideas raised in the Discussion Paper. Please complete the online survey here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T6WN5VJ by 31st July 2016.
[i] World Federation of Public Health Associations, Climate Change and Health Policy Assessment, Project Report, 2015. Available at: http://caha.org.au/projects/climate-change-and-health-policy-assesment-project-report-a-global-survey-2015/
[ii] The Lancet, Commission on Health and Climate Change, 2015. Available at: http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/climate-change; British Medical Journal, Climate change is a health emergency, Editorial, 03 April 2014. Available at: http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2546