Health groups welcome ALP climate-health strategy announcement as an investment in Australia’s health

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The Climate and Health Alliance have welcomed the commitment by Federal ALP today to a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being.

Fiona Armstrong, Executive Director of the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), said the announcement made by Federal Labor demonstrates their understanding of the fundamental impacts that climate change is already having on the health and well-being of Australian communities.

“The announcement of Labor’s commitment to develop Australia’s first National Strategy on Climate Change and Health is very welcome and is the result of years of work by health and medical institutions and organisations to guide policy development on this issue.

“A National Strategy on Climate Change and Health will help address the adverse impacts of climate change on health, like heatwaves, which is costing the economy over $8 billion annually from heat related illness and productivity losses.

“It will help to deliver support to the health and aged care sectors to be prepared for the effects of climate change and to reduce their carbon and environmental footprint.”

“A National Strategy on Climate Change and Health offers a win-win-win for Australia in protecting and improving people’s health, reducing emissions and the impacts of climate change – and saving money for both national and household budgets.”

“The good news that is being overlooked in the climate change conversation is that climate action is good for health.

“Many of the key strategies to reduce emissions – like moving to electric vehicles and clean energy – will reduce air pollution in our cities, which has a huge health burden and associated economic costs. Vehicle emissions in Australia cause health damages which are costing the economy $3.3 billion each year.

“Health and medical professionals are increasingly alarmed about the negative impacts on people’s health associated with climate change. Extreme heat is leading to many more presentations to hospital emergency departments, as well as causing more heart attacks requiring ambulance call outs. Floods and storms lead to injuries and loss of lives and livelihoods. And of course, the huge psychological impacts of drought are having a very negative impact on the health of farmers and rural communities.

“It is well overdue for Australia to have a national policy on this issue.”

This post was originally published as a media release by the Climate and Health Alliance.

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