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Croakey: As Australia braces for summer, health sector urged to take strong stand against governments’ support for fossil fuels

Croakey: As Australia braces for summer, health sector urged to take strong stand against governments’ support for fossil fuels

Global heating requires our urgent attention, writes Dr Richard Yin. Like COVID, this is a public health emergency, and the signs are everywhere that the threat is escalating, exactly as climate scientists have predicted.

Yet, our leaders at the federal and state levels are pouring public money into expanding fossil fuel projects like the Beetaloo Basin and the Burrup Hub which undermines our efforts to protect our communities.

The IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report made it clear that new gas projects are incompatible with limiting warming to 1.5°C.

The health sector collectively needs to take a stand.

The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) calls upon all health professionals to take urgent action to safeguard the health of global populations from the climate crisis, urging all governments to adopt the following as health interventions:

  • End expansion of any new fossil fuel infrastructure and production
  • Phase out existing production and use of fossil fuels
  • Remove fossil fuel subsidies and invest in renewable energy
  • Fast track a just transition that addresses the needs of individuals, communities and countries to move away from fossil fuel energy systems towards more diverse, resilient and inclusive economies powered by renewable energy

You can support the action by signing the WONCA petition. Ask your medical college or health organisation to also support the call. 

Just as no sensible politician would want to be seen as an ally of the tobacco industry, we must reveal the fossil fuel industry to be equally toxic and having outlived its social license.

Dr Richard Yin is a recently retired GP and deputy chair of Doctors for the Environment Australia.

Read the full article which was published in Croakey on 24 August 2023