IPCC report: RACP spokesperson available to comment

1 March 2022

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians says that the Federal Government must take urgent action on climate change and prepare our healthcare system for its effects.

Physicians are urging the Government to respond to their calls for a National Climate and Health Strategy in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

RACP President and Respiratory Physician Professor John Wilson says “The IPCC report identifies catastrophic impacts of climate change to Australia, including an increase in deaths – making it clear that this is a health emergency.

“A strong and coordinated approach from the Federal Government is needed now.

“In a recent RACP report, 10 medical colleges joined together to call for a national climate change and health strategy to address the health impacts of climate change. We call on the Government and Opposition to commit to this ahead of the Federal Election.

“The medical profession calls on the Federal Government to commit to a strong net zero emissions target and implement the recommendations of the ‘Climate Change And Australia’s Healthcare Systems’ report.”

The recommendations in the report include:

  • Establish a dedicated climate change health resilience fund to support research and innovation
  • Build capacity in the healthcare sector, health workforce and the wider health system
  • Develop climate risk and capacity assessments and locally-led disaster planning for healthcare systems
  • Commit to and develop a plan for delivering net zero healthcare by 2040
  • Implement and fund a national strategy on climate change and health
  • Embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and leadership in all climate change policy and action
  • Invest in prevention and early intervention as a key element of climate change and health strategy

“Climate change represents the biggest threat to the Australian healthcare system. We must take action now.”

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