Climate Change and Health

Why Climate Change and Health?

“Tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”
The Lancet Commission Report on Climate Change and Health

The health impacts of climate change are a pressing global public health concern.

Urgent action on climate change represents an opportunity to simultaneously reduce the harms and risks of climate change, and improve health outcomes for Australians, New Zealanders, and the world.

Unchecked, climate change threatens to worsen food and water shortages, change the risk of climate-sensitive diseases, and increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. This is likely to have serious consequences for public health and wellbeing.

The RACP is part of a large and growing global network of health and medical organisations calling for action on climate change.

The RACP is calling for new national climate and health strategies - to raise awareness, reduce the risks to health, and realise the health benefits of urgent climate action.

The RACP's Climate Change and Health Working Party has developed three evidence-based position statements covering:

For more information and resources see the RACP's curated collection on climate change and health.

Doctors for Climate Action

In the lead up to the UN Climate Change conference COP21, the RACP coordinated an international campaign 'Doctors for Climate Action' including a Global Consensus Statement (PDF 5MB), Act Now to Reduce the Damaging Health Impacts of Climate Change.

The statement was endorsed by 69 health and medical organisations from around the world. A further 1,500 doctors, medical professionals and other individuals signed the calls to action. The statement was presented to Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, at the Climate and Health Summit held in Paris during COP21.

Margaret Chan receives Consensus Statement
Margaret Chan receives Consensus Statement

Recent submissions and media

How can I contribute my expertise?

RACP Trainees and Physicians can access the Represent Your Profession webpage for more information, or send a query to or via the online contact form.

Where can I read more?

Read published RACP policies, position statements or submissions by searching the Policy and Advocacy Library or view the latest Policy Submissions.   
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