Physicians welcome more ambitious ALP climate policy

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has today welcomed the ALP’s announcement of a more ambitious policy to reduce carbon emissions and is calling for the triennial review to include a focus on the health impacts from climate change.

Australians are already suffering health impacts including higher rates of respiratory illness, diarrhoea and morbidity requiring hospital admission during hot days, and higher rates of suicide in rural areas during drought years. 

RACP Faculty of Public Health Medicine President Associate Professor Linda Selvey said:

“The ALP’s move to increase Australia’s commitment to reducing emissions is a welcome step forward. In particular the commitment to review the target at least once every three years will allow for increased ambition as the economy transitions to clean energy.

“Physicians around the country are already dealing with the health impacts of climate change and want all parties to increase efforts to reduce emissions across the entire economy – not just in the energy sector.

“The regular reviews should include a focus on the health impacts from climate change, including adaptation requirements but also how the health sector can play a role in mitigation. 

“The positive health benefits of actions to mitigate climate change include less pollution and so less respiratory illness, increased physical activity from sustainable activity-based transport options and improved diet.

“Today’s announcement from the ALP is welcome but highlights that lack of coordinated action at the federal level. We will need greater efforts and ambition to reduce emissions within the next term of government,” Associate Professor Selvey said.

Media contact: Peter Stahel – media@racp.edu.au, 0408 584 439

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