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The National Health and Climate Strategy is an important step, but to protect lives we must quit fossil fuels

In this, the hottest recorded year in our planet’s history, Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) welcomes the National Health and Climate Strategy as an important step forward in protecting the health of Australians from the extreme health threat of climate change. But, to truly protect the health of Australians, we must quit coal, oil and gas.

DEA applauds yesterday’s launch of Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy at COP’s first-ever Health Day. 

The Strategy demonstrates that our government recognises the severe health impacts of climate change, and that our health system needs to prepare for the increased demand on services that climate change brings. 

However, while this Strategy affirms our Government’s commitment to action on climate change, DEA calls on the Albanese Government to go one step further and support the rapid discontinuation of coal and gas, and the transition to renewables.

Says DEA’s executive director and GP, Dr Kate Wylie, “Coal, gas and oil are the primary drivers of global heating and climate change–the greatest health threats facing humanity. 

“Yet, Australia has approved new coal mines with an additional 110 more gas and coal mines in the pipeline. We are also one of the world’s biggest fossil fuel exporters. 

“The Australian Government must stop its two-faced approach to climate action and phase out fossil fuels if it’s serious about protecting lives. 

“Our health is already at the mercy of our warming planet so there is no time to delay. On the back of other record-breakers, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has stated that this year is set to be the warmest on record. 

“The impacts of climate change are devastatingly obvious. Doctors are already seeing the detrimental impacts of heatwaves, fires and smoke, floods and extreme weather events on our health and know that it is time to not only prepare for the impacts of climate change on health but to also reduce emissions.

“The Strategy adopts a Health in All Policies approach, recognising the interconnectedness between the health of humans, animals and the environment. To truly realise this vision we must stop making the problem worse, we must quit coal and gas for the health of people and planet.”

Media Contact

Media and Communications Lead, Carmela Ferraro, 0410 703 074 

DEA Executive Director and GP, Dr Kate Wylie, 0432 871 389


Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy

DEA’s submission to the National Health and Climate Strategy (PDF)


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