To: The Hon. Daniel Andrews, Premier, The Hon. Matthew Guy MP, The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Mr James Newbury MP, The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MP, Ms Georgie Crozier MLC
We, the undersigned healthcare workers, health organisations and health science students, call for a bipartisan commitment in advance of this year’s state election for 100% of Victoria’s stationary energy to be produced from renewable sources by 2030.
Climate change is the biggest health threat of the 21st century . In Victoria we have seen firsthand physical and mental health impacts from increased extreme weather events such as bushfires and floods. During the 2019-20 bushfires an estimated 120 Victorians died from smoke inhalation alone .
Victoria’s biggest contributor to climate change is the burning of fossil fuels. This also produces air pollution that causes a range of illnesses including lung cancers, asthma, heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well as low weight births and premature deaths.
Those of us who live and work in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland are particularly concerned as the health impacts of air pollution from fossil fuel-based electricity are disproportionately high in these communities. Burning gas in homes also contributes significantly to asthma [3,4].
A transition to renewable energy can yield enormous health benefits across the state. An analysis released in April this year estimated that bringing forward the closure of just one coal power plant to 2030 (Loy Yang A) would save 1500 lives, prevent 32,000 instances of child asthma symptoms and 1900 babies from being born underweight .
Climate change requires a bipartisan approach, and with this in mind we request that you make a commitment that if elected in November your government will commit to implementing a plan for 100% of Victoria’s stationary energy to be produced from renewable sources by 2030.
We urge you to protect Victorians from the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change by taking the above action.
We look forward to your response.
 https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2020/213/6/unprecedented-smoke-related-health-burden-associated-2019-20-bushfires-eastern (Box 2)