Healthy Climate Future

Healthy Climate Future

Climate change is a major risk to our healthcare system. Doctors are seeing the impacts first-hand while supporting their communities in the aftermath of devastating floods and bushfires. Together with 9 other medical colleges, we've launched the Healthy Climate Future campaign.


Read: Policy asks | Taking action


What we're calling for

We’re calling on political leaders to create a climate-ready and climate-friendly healthcare system:

Climate-ready
  • Create and fund a National Climate Change and Health Strategy that will enable our healthcare system to build climate resilience, including:
    • Development of climate risk and vulnerability assessments and locally led disaster planning for the healthcare system; acknowledging that rural and remote communities are at particular risk
    • Adaptation and resilience plans which acknowledge, support, and are guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership
    • Equipping health and medical professionals with information, tools and
      resources to support them to anticipate, prepare for and respond to climate risks
    • Establishment of a surge health and medical workforce for deployment in response to extreme weather events
    • Being informed by the experience of COVID-19 and the limitations and vulnerabilities of the health system to significant shocks
  • Create and fund a National Climate Change and Health Sustainability Unit to oversee the implementation of the Strategy
  • Invest in a national Climate Change and Health Resilience Research Fund to identify resilience strategies suited to our health system
Climate-friendly
  • Establish a Climate Friendly Health System Innovation Fund to provide grants to local health services for emissions reduction and sustainability initiatives
  • Include a plan for equitably decarbonising healthcare, to achieve net zero emissions in healthcare by 2040 in a funded National Climate Change and Health Strategy

We believe Australia must respect and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge in its climate change adaptation and resilience plans. In addition, we join many others, including the business community, farmers and community groups, in calling for an urgent transition to net-zero emissions across all economic sectors to address the underlying causes of climate change, with support to affected communities.


Take action

Support the Healthy Climate Future campaign by:

Social media guide

RACP social accounts
Twitter tags

@Mark_Butler_MP @Bowenchris @jennymcallister @Anne_Ruston @hollieahughes

Search #HealthyClimateFuture to find posts to share.

Email guide

Use the below text as template. A range of policy recommendations have been listed as examples that you can include.

Email template

To: Visit the Australian Parliament House website to find your local members email address.

CC: policy@racp.edu.au; mark.butler.mp@aph.gov.au; chris.bowen.mp@aph.gov.au; jennifer.mcallister@aph.gov.au; Senator.ruston@aph.gov.au; ted.obrien.mp@aph.gov.au; senator.hughes@aph.gov.au

Subject: Commit to a Healthy Climate Future


To The Hon. (YOUR LOCAL MEMBER’S NAME) MP,

I am a (YOUR PROFESSION) living in your electorate and I am deeply concerned about the health impacts of climate change.

I support the Healthy Climate Future campaign, which is a joint initiative from 10 medical colleges.

We are calling on federal political leaders to commit to action to build the resilience of our healthcare system to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, we want to play our part in the solutions. We’re advocating for support to ensure the healthcare system can reduce its own climate footprint.

We need a healthcare system that is both climate ready and climate friendly.

We are calling on all parties and candidates to commit to ensuring our healthcare system is:

Climate ready

  1. Create and fund a National Climate Change and Health Strategy that will enable our healthcare system to build climate resilience, including:
    • Development of climate risk and vulnerability assessments and locally led disaster planning for the healthcare system; acknowledging that rural and remote communities are at particular risk;
    • Adaptation and resilience plans which acknowledge, support, and are guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership;
    • Equipping health and medical professionals with information, tools and
      resources to support them to anticipate, prepare for and respond to climate risks;
    • Establishment of a surge health and medical workforce for deployment in response to extreme weather events;
    • Being informed by the experience of COVID-19 and the limitations and vulnerabilities of the health system to significant shocks.
  2. Create and fund a National Climate Change and Health Sustainability Unit to oversee the implementation of the Strategy.
  3. Invest in a national Climate Change and Health Resilience Research Fund to identify resilience strategies suited to our health system.

Climate friendly

  1. Establish a Climate Friendly Health System Innovation Fund to provide grants to local health services for emissions reduction and sustainability initiatives.
  2. Include a plan for equitably decarbonising healthcare, to achieve net zero emissions in healthcare by 2040 in a funded National Climate Change and Health Strategy.

We believe Australia must respect and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge in its climate change adaptation and resilience plans.

In addition, we join many others, including the business community, farmers and community groups, in calling for an urgent transition to net-zero emissions across all economic sectors to address the underlying causes of climate change, with support to affected communities.

For more information about the campaign, please visit: https://www.racp.edu.au/climatefuture

I urge you to commit to the Healthy Climate Future campaign’s policy recommendations.

Regards,
<YOUR NAME>

Phone-call guide

Example script

Hello, I am a (YOUR PROFESSION) living in the MP’s electorate and I am deeply concerned about the health impacts of climate change.

I am ringing in support of the Healthy Climate Future campaign, which is an initiative of 10 medical colleges.

We are calling on federal political leaders to commit to action.

We need a national strategy for the health system that builds its resilience to climate impacts, including extreme weather like flooding and bushfires.

We also want to see if the healthcare system can reduce its own climate footprint. We’re advocating for support to achieve net zero emissions in healthcare by 2040.

I have emailed the MP with the policy recommendations of the Healthy Climate Future campaign.

Has the MP been able to read my email and can they provide a response committing to any of the policy recommendations?

Thank you for your time. 


Find out more

Our campaign’s policy asks are based on the recommendations of the research report:

Climate Change and Australia’s Healthcare Systems – A Review of Literature, Policy and Practice (PDF) – commissioned by the RACP and endorsed by nine other medical colleges.

Contact

Email Policy@racp.edu.au if you have questions or ideas about the campaign.


Supporting medical colleges


Authorised by Peter McIntyre, CEO, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW, 2000

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