Consultation on Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy has commenced to ensure our health system can meet the challenges of climate change.
With more frequent and extreme climate events, climate change presents a serious health and wellbeing challenge to Australians. The World Health Organization has described climate change as the greatest threat to global health this century.
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney and Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Jenny McAllister will hold a roundtable today focussing on how the health system can adapt to a changing climate, as well steps the system can take to reduce emissions.
The Strategy will establish a three-year plan of action to better prepare the health and aged care sectors for the challenges presented by climate change, including more frequent and severe weather events, extreme temperatures, and poor air quality.
The Strategy will identify priority areas for action to reduce carbon emissions in the health and aged care sectors, as well as managing the impacts of climate change to ensure all Australians continue to access good quality health and aged care.
The consultations will include state and territory governments, peak bodies, and other non-government organisations.
Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney MP
“The health impacts of climate change cannot be understated. We are already seeing it – from floods, fires, droughts and heatwaves, there are very real threats to the health and wellbeing of all Australians.
“The effects of climate change are only expected to intensify and it’s important that our health system is prepared to deal with it.
“Our health and aged care sectors are already stretched and under pressure. Today we begin the process of working with partners to make sure they’re properly prepared for the future.
“The health sector must be prepared but it also should be part of the solution. Our health and aged care sectors have a role to play in reducing their own carbon footprints.”
Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Senator Jenny McAllister
“After a decade of inaction and dysfunction, the Albanese Government is committed to acting on climate change.
“The impacts of climate change are already being experienced by communities across the country, including more very hot days, more intense rain fall, and warmer averages. The first Albanese Budget made investments to help adapt, including funding to scope the first National Climate Risk Assessment.
“Today’s roundtable will inform the National Health and Climate Strategy as well as our work on the first National Climate Risk Assessment. The risk assessment will deliver a shared national framework to inform Australia’s national priorities for climate adaptation and resilience actions.