About the strategy
We launched Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy on 3 December 2023.
The strategy outlines priorities for the next 5 years to address the health and wellbeing impacts of climate change. It sets out actions which will build healthy, climate-resilient communities, and a sustainable, resilient, high-quality, net zero health system.
Why this is important
People in Australia are already experiencing the impacts of climate change on their health and wellbeing.
Climate change is worsening environmental hazards, such as:
- extreme heat
- dangerous floods and fires
- air pollution
These all have negative effects on human health and wellbeing: they cause death, disease, injury, and mental and emotional distress. This means there is an urgent need to build the climate resilience of our communities and our health system.
The level of greenhouse gas emissions from the health system also adds to climate change. We need to identify areas we can reduce emissions in the delivery of care.
The 4 core objectives of the strategy are:
- Health system resilience: build a climate-resilient health system and enhance its capacity to protect health and wellbeing from the impacts of climate change.
- Health system decarbonisation: build a sustainable, high quality, net zero health system.
- International collaboration: collaborate internationally to build sustainable, climate-resilient health systems and communities.
- Health in all policies: support healthy, climate-resilient and sustainable communities through whole-of-government action which recognises the relationship between health and climate outcomes.
Actions in key areas that will help us meet the 4 objectives include:
- workforce, leadership and training
- research and innovation
- communication and engagement
- collaboration and governance.
The strategy emphasises the need to elevate the leadership, wisdom and knowledge of First Nations people in the response to the health impacts of climate change.