Climate change

Climate change is harmful to human health and wellbeing. The Australian Government runs a range of programs to address the impacts of climate change on health and the health system. Read more about climate change and our work to make the health system and communities more sustainable and resilient.

Health impacts of climate change

Climate change affects the health and wellbeing of people in Australia.

Some of the impacts of climate change on health include:

  • heat-related morbidity and mortality
  • changed spread of infectious diseases
  • psychological distress and mental ill health
  • injuries and fatalities in extreme weather events
  • increased likelihood and severity of chronic illnesses
  • damage to housing, critical infrastructure, and services that support health and wellbeing.

Visit healthdirect to learn more about keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe before, during, and after fires, floods and cyclones, and in hot weather

To limit the impacts of climate change on health and wellbeing, it is important that the Australian health system and communities are resilient and responsive to a changing climate.

The National Health and Climate Strategy

The Australian Government is working to develop a sustainable and resilient health system, and to support healthy, sustainable and resilient communities. To achieve this, we launched Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy in December 2023.

The National Health and Climate Strategy works to:

  • address the health and wellbeing impacts of climate change 
  • reduce the health system’s emissions, waste, and contribution to climate change.

Read more about the National Health and Climate Strategy.

Achieving Net Zero and resilience in a changing climate

The Australian Government is working to limit future climate change and increasing Australia’s capacity to adapt to the climate crisis. This work is led by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. Read more about the transition to a Net Zero economy.

The government is also developing Australia’s first National Climate Risk Assessment and National Adaptation Plan. The risk assessment will help us to: 

  • understand the risks and impacts to Australia from climate change
  • identify and prioritise the things that Australians care for the most
  • provide an objective and science-based evidence for decision-making.

The adaptation plan will be:

  • a blueprint for responding to nationally significant climate risks identified in the risk assessment
  • the first national plan in Australia to lead Australia’s transition to a resilient nation in a changing climate. 

Read more about climate adaptation in Australia.

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