Media Releases


April 02, 2019

A Shorten Labor Government will develop Australia’s first National Strategy on Climate Change and Health, to address the health impacts of climate change.
Labor knows that the federal government needs to lead on protecting the health and well-being of Australian communities from the impacts of climate change, and in fulfilling its international obligations under the Paris Agreement.
That’s why a Labor Government will develop and implement this Strategy – as we first announced almost two years ago, and confirmed in our National Platform.
The health impacts of climate change are not a concern purely for the future, they are with us here and now.
Australia’s health experts have estimated that:

  • Heatwaves in Victoria in 2009 and 2014 contributed to 374 and 167 excess deaths respectively;
  • Climate change is increasing the likelihood of events such as the 2016 thunderstorm asthma event in Victoria, which caused a 3,000% increase in asthma related admissions to intensive care; and
  • Reduced productivity due to extreme heat already costs the Australian economy over $8 billion annually and the economic losses and health risks will increase significantly as climate change impacts worsen.

Labor’s Strategy will be informed by the Framework that has already been developed by the Climate and Health Alliance – a coalition of more than 30 health and medical organisations.
Labor will work with the Alliance and groups like Doctors for the Environment and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation to develop and implement the Strategy.
Labor is committed to strong action on climate change, as outlined in our Climate Change Action plan, and we are committed to reducing the impact of the health system on the climate, as well as protecting the health of all Australians.
In contrast, the Liberals still can’t agree that climate change is real, while their record on health is one of cuts, soaring costs for patients and neglect of our health system.
Only Labor will deliver real leadership on climate change and health.