In 2019, DEA embarked on a campaign calling for the government to declare a climate emergency and take urgent action aligned to the science. It called on medical colleges to support it along with individual doctors.
The Climate Health Emergency campaign was designed to bring respected voices of doctors into the public arena, uniting the health sector in calling for climate action and framing climate change in terms of health.
It followed declarations of a climate emergency from Doctors for the Environment Australia, the Australian Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the British Medical Association earlier that year.
The Climate Health Emergency campaign was launched when drought conditions and an early hot summer already threatened extreme heatwaves and bushfires. Letters were sent to all medical colleges and the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges.
Seven colleges representing the majority of Australian doctors declared a Climate Emergency during the summer along with Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA):
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
- Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP)
- Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)
- Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
- College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM)
- Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
In addition, 2300 individual doctors signed the petition in support of the Climate Health Emergency Declaration.
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