First-ever climate accord delivered at COP28 UN Climate Change Conference to address fossil fuels as the primary driver of warming temperatures – but not enough to protect our health.
Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) commends world leaders for a paradigm shift in the agreed language to explicitly curtail fossil fuels at COP28. However, as COP28 president Sultan al-Jaber cautioned: “An agreement is only as good as its implementation. We are what we do, not what we say”.
Hence, we are dismayed that “phase out” was omitted from the final statement as the scientific evidence firmly highlights the urgency to act this decade to address global warming – widely considered the biggest threat to health this century. For the health of present and future generations we cannot continue to extract and export fossil fuels and as such, we call on all governments to cease the approval of any new fossil fuel projects.
Pleasingly earlier in the COP28 conference, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney launched Australia’s first National Health and Climate and Health Strategy. It outlines a comprehensive Strategy, incorporating a One Health approach. The implementation will be critical and reliant on sufficient funding structures and governance. DEA was closely involved in the Strategy’s Consultation process and we look forward to working with the government to achieve its goals.
DEA’s National Health and Climate Strategy Submission.