Media release

Federal election: Time running out for politicians to explain how they will protect people from worsening health impacts of climate change

Doctors, nurses and allied health professionals are among those demanding all political parties explain how they plan to protect the health and well-being of Australians in the face of worsening climate change.

Their responses will be compared on a scorecard that will be distributed to thousands of voting health professionals across Australia.

Surveys from the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) have already been distributed to the Liberal Party, The Nationals, the ALP, The Greens, the Democratic Liberal Party and the Nick Xenophon Party in the lead up to the July 2 election. Among other issues the survey assesses political support for the creation of a national climate and health strategy, greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, phasing out of coal and unconventional gas mining, and a national moratorium of new mines.

CAHA President Dr Liz Hanna said: “The health sector is already under immense pressure, and increasing heatwaves, fires, floods and storms will place even greater demand on frontline, acute and community health services. We are the ones responsible for looking after people who become injured, sick and traumatized – and we are seeking assurances from all political parties that they are doing everything they can to protect people.”

CAHA Executive Director Fiona Armstrong said: “In places like the United States there is long-term and detailed plans and preparation underway to support the health care sector and protect people’s health from the adverse effects of climate change. Yet in Australia there is a significant lack of policy direction and leadership from most political parties. It’s just not good enough.”

The deadline for responses to the survey has been extended to June 9. The 2016 Climate and Health Scorecard will be released on June 20.

For a link to the online survey (political parties only), or media enquiries please contact Fiona Armstrong via [email protected] or on 0438 900 005.