With the early start to our bushfire season, widespread fires burning across the country with tragic loss of life and property, and a number of areas breaking November heat records, three medical colleges, the RACP, ACEM and ACRRM representing tens of thousands of doctors recently declared climate change a health emergency, writes DEA’s Hon Secretary Dr Richard Yin. They join the AMA and DEA which this year also declared a climate health emergency. The clear message to our leaders is that the time to act on the climate crisis is now.
Worldwide, the American, British, Canadian, and New Zealand medical peak bodies have declared a climate emergency, while the World Medical Association has called on physicians to press their governments to be carbon neutral by 2030.
These declarations have been made even more salient with the recently released 2019 MJA–Lancet Countdown report on climate change and health progress in Australia, and one by natural scientists that biosphere tipping points might be breached much sooner than previously anticipated, fundamentally altering our ecological life-support systems and rapidly accelerating climate change.
The health profession is rightly concerned that not enough has been done to mitigate and prepare for climate change health impacts.
Doctors have a long history of standing together on threats to public health. We stood up to the tobacco industry and helped save thousands of Australian lives from tobacco related deaths and illnesses. Now we must come together again on curbing climate change to ensure a liveable planet for people alive today and for those yet to be born.
Read the article in full in the Medical Republic, 4 December 2019
Add your voice to DEA’s call for Parliament to declare climate change a health emergency and act according to the science, HERE.