Climate Change and Health

“Tackling climate change could be the greatest health opportunity of the 21st century” The Lancet, 2015.

This document has been curated by Fellows of the RACP to help you find high quality CPD resources about climate change.

Resources are categorised by type:

  1. Key organisations & websites
  2. Webcasts
  3. Courses
  4. Tools
  5. Key journals
  6. Recommended reading

Professional development in Climate Change

As climate change alters the environment it exposes people to higher risks of disease, has significant social impacts and puts enormous pressure on economies and health systems worldwide. Some of the risks identified include:

  • Temperature - severe heat waves can cause deaths and reduce ability to exercise outdoors
  • Air quality - worsening pollution might cause respiratory infections and aggravation of asthma
  • Extreme weather events - flooding, droughts and wildfires may have severe impacts on mental and physical health
  • Spread of infectious diseases - Outbreaks of food and water borne diseases are expected to occur more often and more widely, partially due to the spread of vectors such as mosquitoes

This collection includes resources on the effects of climate change, adaptation strategies, and support for advocacy.  It aims to support Fellows and Trainees in educating themselves, improving their practice and advocating for change as a public health priority.

Short on time? Try this:

  • Read this fact sheet from WHO
  • Listen to this short podcast episode interviewing Dr Margaret Chan and other experts
  • Watch this talk by A/Prof Brian Owler (President of the AMA)

1. Key Organisations & Websites

Useful as a starting point and overview of current work in this area

CPD tipCPD TIP:  Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for any learning from these websites. Download the current MyCPD Framework here. 

  • The Lancet Commission
    In 2009, the University College of London and the Lancet Commission jointly launched a ground-breaking report delineating the human health effects of climate change. The Lancet Commission released its second major report in 2015 which builds upon the issues raised in the first report.

  • World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF 
    WHO publishes articles, education programs, podcasts and videos on climate change and human health. UNICEF has a variety of publications focusing on the impacts on child health.

  • Climate and Health Alliance
    This Australian organisation has membership from across the health sector. Their website offers an array of resources to understand and manage the challenges of climate change and their impacts on health.

  • Doctors for the Environment Australia
    The DEA has news updates, reports and advocacy resources on their website. Two particularly useful resources are their position statement and a video entitled ‘What can I do for the Environment?’.

  • National Institute of Environmental Health Science
    This website provides fact sheets and publications on the health impacts of climate change from an environmental health perspective.

  • NHS Sustainable Development Unit
    The NHS SDU helps organisations across the health and care sectors promote sustainable development, thereby reducing emissions, saving money and improving health.

2. Webcasts

Useful for brief overviews of topics and recent developments

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for any learning from these webcasts in Category 5 (1 credit/hr). Download the current MyCPD Framework here.

3. Courses

Useful for in depth, structured learning

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for any learning from these courses. Download the current MyCPD Framework here. 

4. Tools

Useful for implementing what you have learned in your daily practice

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for any learning from these tools. Download the current MyCPD Framework here. 

  • Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH)
    The Sustainable Specialties Programme is designed to mainstream sustainability within clinical areas. It is supported by the work of CSH in medical education and in carbon modelling of clinical care. 

  • Centres for Disease Control - Success Stories from the Climate and Health Program
    This report explains the BRACE framework to assist healthcare workers in preparing for climate change, and includes lessons from successful implementations.

  • Global Green and Healthy Hospitals
    Health Care Without Harm promotes the implementation of safe and environmentally healthy practices, processes and products. Their website includes strategies that can be implemented in your workplace.

  • Public Health and Climate Change 
    This guidebook supports climate planning within health departments and agencies. Although it focuses on the US, there are lessons and strategies that can be used by Australasian public health practitioners. 

  • US Climate and Health Alliance Tools
    The tools and resources listed on this website could help you implement practical actions to adapt to or combat the impacts of climate change.

5. Key Journals

Useful for keeping up to date with research and finding out more on specific topics

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for your time reading these journals in Category 5 (1 credit/hr). Download the current MyCPD Framework here. 

6. Recommended Reading

Useful for keeping up to date with research and finding out more on specific topics

CPD tipCPD tip: Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for your time spent on these readings in Category 5 (1 credit/hr). Download the current MyCPD Framework here. 

Send Us Your Feedback:

RACP curated collections are managed by the Learning Support Unit, based on the contributions and peer review of Fellows of the College and other experts.

We thank Prof Richard Heller, Dr Karen Kiang, Dr George Laking and A/Prof Linda Selvey for their contributions to this page.

Tell us what you think about this page and make suggestions for improvement by emailing myresources@racp.edu.au.  

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