Doctors for the Environment Australia is pleased to be a signatory to an open letter from many of Australia’s leading organisations, which call for all candidates in the upcoming federal election to address with speed and urgency the detrimental effects of climate change on public health.
Published today, the letter which was coordinated by the Climate and Health Alliance has also been signed by 49 other organisations, including the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, the Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Greenpeace.
The World Health Organization has declared climate change a “health emergency” and the prestigious international medical journal The Lancet considers climate change “the greatest threat to health of the 21st century”.
DEA’s Honorary Secretary and GP Dr Richard Yin says, “With a crucial election coming up, it’s encouraging to see health, welfare, and environment groups speaking out in one unified voice on potentially the biggest existential threat to health and livelihoods that humanity has ever known.
“Human impact on the planet is now threatening the very life support systems that we all depend on.
“We are experiencing unprecedented extreme weather events from the north to the south of the country and also in other parts of the world.
"As doctors, we are very concerned about the impact that these events have on the health of our patients. DEA declared a climate emergency at its annual conference only this month to raise the alarm.
"We need Federal leadership to recognise climate change for the emergency that it is and to take necessary steps to curb rising emissions.
“While efforts to address climate change preparedness are occurring at state level, for example last week’s WA Government’s Sustainable Health Review, a nationally co-ordinated strategy is vital.
“The open letter is an opportunity for all politicians to assess their priorities and commit to actions that will ensure health and wellbeing for current as well as future generations.”
Read the open letter in full here.
To arrange an interview with Dr Richard Yin, please call DEA’s Communications and Media Coordinator Carmela Ferraro on 0410 703 074
DEA is an independent organisation of medical doctors protecting health through care of the environment.
We are supported by a Scientific Advisory Committee of distinguished health experts: Prof Stephen Boyden AM, Prof Emeritus Chris Burrell AO, Prof Colin Butler, Prof Peter Doherty AC, Prof Michael Kidd AM, Prof David de Kretser AC, Prof Stephen Leeder AO, Prof Ian Lowe AO, Prof Robyn McDermott, Prof Lidia Morawska, Prof Peter Newman AO, Prof Emeritus Sir Gustav Nossal AC, Prof Hugh Possingham, Prof Lawrie Powell AC, Prof Fiona Stanley AC, Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM, Dr Norman Swan