“Our national health is on the line”: Physicians want a plan for climate and health from the PM at COP26

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) is urging the Prime Minister to acknowledge the health impacts of climate change and integrate a health plan into his climate policy at Glasgow COP26.

RACP President Professor John Wilson says, “Climate change is the greatest threat to our future health system in Australia."

“Now that our Prime Minister is to attend this global summit of the leaders of the largest and most powerful contributors to climate change, he must also address the impacts of climate change on health in Australia’s commitments.”

The RACP has endorsed the newest MJA-Lancet Countdown policy brief which highlights the ways Australians are vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change. The brief found that a deficit of climate-related health policies would create devastating impacts on Australians’ health and leave the health sector ill-prepared.

“The Federal Government hasn’t updated its original generic target of 2050, and no national climate change impact assessments have taken place in over a decade."

“Australian lives are already being lost to climate changes. It’s shocking that the Federal Government is yet to recognise the critical implications a climate policy deficit has on Australia’s health system and Australians’ health."

“This is a matter of the utmost urgency. Australia’s health system requires the world to take coordinated and ambitious action to reduce climate pollution." 

“We call on the Prime Minister to put forward our own ambitious policies at the summit and show leadership at COP26."

“The Australian Government must be doing everything in its power to protect our population from the increasing health impacts of climate change. That includes attending Glasgow with a proper plan to address and mitigate it."

“This is a critical platform for the Morrison Government to change Australia’s reputation as a sustainability leader and make addressing the impacts of climate on health a priority.”

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