Doctors urge WA voters to consider climate change

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Doctors are urging WA to vote for strong action on climate change in light of the latest climate change report showing health at serious risk.

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) sees the election in Western Australia this Saturday as crucial in determining how Australia responds to the threat of climate change. The latest United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Commission (IPCC) shows human health is increasingly at risk from climate change and that strong action is needed.

DEA spokesperson Dr  Kingsley Faulkner said today, ‘On Saturday WA voters will decide who has power in the Commonwealth Senate and we urge voters to think about climate change mitigation when they cast their vote.’

‘The IPCC report released this week shows high risks for health if climate change continues at the current rate,’ he said.

‘It is more clear now than ever before that without strong action on climate change, we will increasingly see injury, disease and death from extreme weather such as heatwaves, bushfires and flooding.

‘We are likely to see health impacts from changes to food production, water availability, increases in certain infections and damage to natural systems.

‘Without strong action on climate change, we will see large increases in the number of people at risk of diseases spread by mosquitos and ticks, those experiencing diarrhoea and poor nutrition and those with heart and lung diseases from poor air quality.

‘We can expect to see increases in mental health problems due to extreme weather events and other consequences of climate change, with increasing and costly pressures on our healthcare systems.

Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO has said, ‘The real bottom-line of climate change is its risk to human health and quality of life.’

‘As doctors, we know that taking action on climate change is good for health,’ said Dr  Faulkner.

‘We need a Commonwealth Senate that heeds the climate change warnings, commits to pollution reduction targets and supports an urgent transition to cleaner energy sources,’ he said.

To help get the message out, DEA has published an advertisement today with the full support of prominent Western Australia doctor and DEA Scientific Committee Member Dr Fiona Stanley. Dr Stanley says she is, ‘deeply concerned about the threat climate change poses to our younger generations.’  See DEA advertisement here.

 

Media inquiries

DEA Spokesperson: Dr  Kingsley Faulkner 0419 936677

For interviews with Dr Fiona Stanley, contact Tammy Gibbs 0408946698

DEA liaison: Anne Walker 0419 505889

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