In an answer from October’s Senate Estimates, senior officials have confirmed the Morrison Government’s Department of Health has not modelled the health impacts of climate change.
The delayed response to the Question on Notice asking about the “likely health costs and impacts of unchecked climate change on health outcomes for Australians and Australia’s health system” states:
“The Department has not undertaken specific modelling on the costs and impacts of climate change.”
Today, a coalition of 25 health and medical groups have released a joint statement calling for the Morrison Government to act urgently on climate change and health, as well as the current air pollution health emergency in New South Wales. The group calls for an urgent National Strategy on Climate, Health and Wellbeing.
Last month Labor called on the Morrison Government to add climate change as a National Health Priority Area.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that between 2030 and 2050, 250,000 people a year will die globally as a direct result of a warming planet, and describes climate change as the “greatest threat to global health in the twenty-first century”.
Climate change must be recognised as a significant contributor to the burden of illness and injury in Australia.
The Morrison Government should adopt climate change as a National Health Priority Area and ensure the Department of Health is equipped to protect the health of all Australians in a changing climate.