December 8 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should consider his position if he is not prepared to listen with an open mind to the policy advice from the experts at the COAG Leaders meeting on Friday 9 December.
In a statement released today, spokesperson for medical group Doctors for the Environment Australia, Dr David Shearman, says, ” Mr Turnbull must keep the option for an emission intensity scheme put by the experts, the CSIRO and the Climate Council and as expected by Dr Finkel, as this scheme is vital for our greenhouse reduction strategy and for the future health of all Australians.
DEA is an organisation of medical doctors raising awareness of the link between health and the environment, and which is supported by many distinguished members of the medical profession including a Nobel laureate, recipients of the Australia of the Year award and deans from leading medical schools.
“The recurrent climate change action disarray in the Coalition Government in the face of the national and international threats of climate change is a national disaster.
“To indicate possible support for a carbon intensity scheme one day and dismiss it the next because of pressure from a small faction of the government which does not accept climate change is a measure of their unsuitability to govern in the national interest.
“This calls into question the government’s ability to protect the health and safety of its citizens now and in the future.
“Carbon emissions are already having devastating consequences on the health of Australians- we are seeing this through an increase in extreme weather events such as thunderstorm asthma, heat waves, bushfires, droughts and floods. How much worse does it need to get before we act on climate change?”
Dr Shearman says a carbon intensity scheme is also vital in progressing the urgent closure of coal fired power stations which are responsible for a proportion of the 3000 deaths each year from air pollution, and heart and lung disease in many more at great cost to the health services.
“This disregard for the nation’s health when a recommendation for action on carbon intensity had previous support from the Coalition is appalling,” says Dr Shearman.
“Australia’s climate policy needs to be based on factual information, not on the ideology of a few or the inaccuracies peddled by those who are motivated by personal profit or climate denial.
“It is clear that Mr Turnbull is unable to safeguard the health of Australians. We need a leader who can lead a national government which takes seriously the opinion of experts on energy, economics and climate change science or brings them into decision-making positions in a national government.
Dr David Shearman AM FRACP is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Adelaide and Hon Secretary of Doctors for the Environment Australia
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