Skip navigation

Advocating for Climate Action

Fossil Fules are a Health Hazard

DEA advocates for climate action, by political campaigning, peaceful protests, media representation, letters, petitions, presentations and events.

Across the country our members are fighting to protect the health of our people and our natural world from the great health harms of fossil fuels, like coal, oil and gas. 

All fossil fuel combustion worsens climate change and its damaging effects on people. 

Climate change is well recognised as the greatest health threat facing humanity. Heatwaves, fires and smoke, floods, storms and extreme weather events all contribute to the health burden of climate change, as do the associated infectious diseases, loss of infrastructure, food and water insecurity, displacement and mental illness.

Coal, oil and gas production and use releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (NO2). These gases are incorporated into the gaseous layer that surrounds our planet that acts to keep heat in, creating the greenhouse effect. The more gases the thicker and denser this layer is, meaning more heat is trapped and this is causing global heating and climate change.

Both coal and so called “natural” gas cause hazardous air pollution. 

The mining and burning of coal and gas releases multiple dangerous chemicals that are damaging to humans. Pollutants like nitrous oxide, ground level ozone and particulate matter 2.5 increase the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancers (including childhood leukaemia). They are even associated with learning delays and behavioural problems in our children, poor pregnancy outcomes and cognitive decline for older adults. 

Our governments must do the right thing by the people of Australia and rapidly ditch fossil fuels to protect human health. 

With 2023 being the hottest year on record, and global temperature records tumbling like dominoes both globally and in Australia, there is no excuse to delay. We have the technology to transition to healthy clean renewables now, what is lacking is the political will to do so.