Australia’s doctors gather in Melbourne, demanding stronger action on climate change

Doctors for the Environment Australia iDEA14 Conference, Melbourne: 22-23 March 14

Hot on the heels of the nationwide March in March rallies last Sunday, this weekend will see over 400 doctors and medical students converge on Melbourne, demanding action on climate change.

At the Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) iDEA14 conference, doctors from across the country will be discussing the impact of climate change and fossil fuels on the health of communities throughout Australia and globally.

DEA National Chair, Professor Kingsley Faulkner, said that this unprecedented gathering of the medical profession sends a clear message of how critical it is that Australia acts decisively to curb the destructive effects of climate change.  

“Unabated climate change can have a catastrophic effect on health and applies increased pressure on our healthcare system. Hot ‘angry’ summers such as the 2009 Victorian heatwave is a perfect example of this. Associated with 374 deaths in Victoria, the heatwave was responsible for a 25% increase in ambulance call outs and 12% increase in emergency department presentations. Action to mitigate climate change is an essential health protection measure which we cannot afford to put off any longer”, he says.

“It is frankly alarming, and of great concern that whilst medical professionals are increasingly recognising the damage that climate change and fossil fuels cause to our health, the Federal Government continues a reckless plan to expand fossil fuel industries and dismantle effective climate change mitigation strategies”, he adds.

The iDEA Conference programme addresses climate change and children’s health, indigenous health and indeed, its global effect.  Sessions will also discuss renewable energy solutions, a critique on climate change policy and a debate on mitigation and whether Australia can do its fair share with direct action.

Speakers will include renowned child health researcher and former Australian of the Year, Professor Fiona Stanley; Climate Councillor, Professor Tim Flannery; and expert economist, Professor Ross Garnaut. Federal Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt; Shadow Minister for the Environment, Mark Butler; and Greens Senator and medical doctor, Richard Di Natale, will also address the conference to share their vision for Australia in 2050.

Professor Flannery says, “The fact that over 400 doctors and medical students are gathering to share their concerns about the impact of climate change and fossil fuels on health should be a reality check to our political leaders”.

“The medical profession is now joining a wide range of professional and business groups, urging State and Federal Governments to adopt ambitious plans to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, end support for the fossil fuel sector and support a rapid transition to renewable energy. These are essential measures to ensure a healthy future for all Australians”, he adds.

 

To find out more, visit www.dea.org.au.  

Notes to Editors

For further information, interview requests or to attend the iDEA14 Conference, please contact Catherine Pendrey on 0401 395 919 or catherine.pendrey@gmail.com.


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