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Pages tagged "Climate Change"

Action: Health Workers at Parliament House

Media Release: Health Workers Take Action at State Parliament

Wednesday 21 September, Melbourne

At 12.30pm today, doctors, nurses and health workers will assemble at Victoria’s Parliament House, on the last sitting day before the election, to demand a strong renewable energy commitment from the government and opposition.

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" I am very concerned about children’s mental and physical health"

Dr Suzanne Deed is a  General Medical Practitioner, Psychotherapist and Family therapist based in South Gippsland, VIC. As a GP working in the Latrobe Valley for many years it was her observation that there was an increase in severity and incidence of asthma and respiratory illnesses in children and adults compared to when I was practicing in Melbourne. Suzanne shares her climate change journey with us.

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"The health effects are being played out now"

Dr Malcolm Mckelvie is GP based in Yarragon in West Gippsland, VIC. He has seen first-hand the impacts that burning fossil fuels have had on his local community, both in terms of illnesses like asthma incidences and the mental and physical health impacts of natural disasters. He is fighting to protect the health, wellbeing and environment of his local Gippsland community. Malcolm shares his deep concerns for the climate crisis with us.

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Clean Energy For Health - NSW

Let's create a healthier future for all people in NSW!

The evidence is in: burning fossil fuels produces dangerous pollution that costs lives and increases disease, both from breathing air outdoors and from fossil fuel combustion in the home. The faster we switch to renewable energy the safer our communities will be. Burning fossil fuels is also the leading cause of climate change, which we've witnessed through recent fires and floods that put more strain on our already stretched health system.

Luckily, the solutions are available right now. South Australia and Tasmania have a 100% renewable energy target and the ACT has already achieved theirs. Yet NSW and WA are the last two states to have no renewable energy target at all. While the Renewable Energy Zones already announced will take NSW to 67% renewable energy by 2030, a legislated target would mean pollution-free energy for all.

In the lead up to this year's state election, we're calling for a bipartisan commitment from both major parties in NSW to support a policy of 100% renewable energy for NSW by 2030.

If you work or study in health, please sign the open letter.

If you’re a health organisation please email us here: [email protected]

If you don't work or study in health, we'd love you to share this page with your networks.

Organisational Signatories:

 

Healthy Futures NSW NMWA   EHA

150 signatures

To: The Hon. Dom Perrottet, Premier, The Hon. Chris Minns MP, The Hon. Matt Kean MP, Mr Jihad Dib MP, The Hon. Brad Hazzard MP, Ms Ryan Park MLC

We, the undersigned healthcare workers, health organisations and health science students, call for a bipartisan commitment in advance of the 2023 state election for 100% of NSW’s stationary energy to be produced from renewable sources by 2030.

Outdoor air pollution from burning fossil fuels causes a range of illnesses including heart attacks, strokes, diabetes mellitus, asthma, lung cancers and other lung diseases, and can particularly harm pregnant people, children and people with pre-existing conditions [1,2,3]. It is now recognised as one of the world’s leading causes of morbidity and mortality, and in Australia has been estimated to cause 1451 premature deaths and 24881 years of life lost per year [4]. Burning fossil fuels indoors also harms health, with gas cooking recently estimated to cause 12.3% of childhood asthma [5,6].

Burning fossil fuels is also the leading cause of climate change, the biggest health threat of the 21st century [7]. In NSW 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 219 people in NSW died from smoke inhalation alone [8].

South Australia and Tasmania have already set targets of 100% renewable electricity by 2030, while the ACT has enjoyed 100% renewable electricity since 2020, protecting residents from price shocks caused by the surging costs of fossil fuels. While NSW is estimated to get to 67% renewable electricity by 2030 due to bipartisan support for Renewable Energy Zones, we can and must do better. [9]

With this in mind we request that you make a commitment that if elected in March 2023 your government will commit to implementing a plan for 100% of NSW’s stationary energy to be produced from renewable sources by 2030.

This plan must create greater certainty for communities in the Hunter, Illawarra and Lithgow, who have been most impacted by pollution, by setting clear dates for retirement of legacy assets. It must also respond to locally driven calls for regional authorities, funded structural adjustment plans and rehabilitation.

We urge you to protect people in NSW from the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change by taking the above action.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

 

[signatories]

 

[1] Lockwood, A.H., Welker-Hood, K., Rauch, M. and Gottlieb, B. (2009). Coal’s assault on human health: a report from Physicians for Social Responsibility, https://www.psr.org/blog/resource/coals-assault-on-human-health/


[2] Amster, E. and Lew Levy, C. (2019). Impact of coal-fired power plant emissions on children’s health: a systematic review of the epidemiological literature. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2008, https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/11/2008/htm

[3] McDuffie et al. (2021). Source sector and fuel contributions to ambient PM2.5 and attributable mortality across multiple spatial scales. Nature Communications 12, 3594 (2021), https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-23853-y

[4] Lelieveld, J., Klingmüller, K., Pozzer, A., Burnett, R., Haines, A., Ramanathan, V. (2019) Effects of fossil fuel and total anthropogenic emission removal on public health and climate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Apr 2019, 116 (15) 7192-7197, https://www.pnas.org/content/116/15/7192

[5] https://www.car-cre.org.au/gas-and-health-position-paper

[6] https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2018/208/7/damp-housing-gas-stoves-and-burden-childhood-asthma-australia

[7] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-and-health

[8] https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2020/213/6/unprecedented-smoke-related-health-burden-associated-2019-20-bushfires-eastern (Box 2)

[9] https://www.climateworkscentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/CWA_State-and-territory-climate-action_October-2021.pdf

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"As doctors we are taught to treat the disease and not just the symptoms."

Dr Scott Abbinga is a committed volunteer with Healthy Futures, heading up our Physicians group. He also is an infectious disease registrar currently working at Monash Health in Melbourne and has recently treated a patient with Japanese Encephalitis, highlighting his previously-held concerns with climate change and the impact on health.

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Clean Energy For Health - VIC

Let's create a healthier future for all Victorians!

We know that climate change is the biggest health threat of the 21st century and that transitioning to clean energy will yield enormous health benefits right across the state.

In the lead up to this year's state election, we're calling for a bipartisan commitment from the Victorian government and opposition to support a policy of 100% renewable energy for Victoria by 2030. This will protect our health and our climate and is line with recommendations by the World Health Organization.

If you work or study in health, please sign the open letter.

If you’re a health organisation please email us here: [email protected]

If you don't work or study in health, we'd love you to share this page with your networks.

Organisational Signatories:

   RACGP RANZCOTSANZVAHPAASUAEA logo  Climate Health Alliance   HSU logo  MSAV logo AMSA  Health Care Consumers      HSFAEHA SOMANZ HF logo

250 signatures

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 [1]. 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 [2].

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 [5]. 

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.

Sincerely,

 

[signatories]

 

[1] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-and-health

[2] https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2020/213/6/unprecedented-smoke-related-health-burden-associated-2019-20-bushfires-eastern (Box 2)

[3] https://www.car-cre.org.au/gas-and-health-position-paper

[4] https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2018/208/7/damp-housing-gas-stoves-and-burden-childhood-asthma-australia

[5] https://www.healthyfutures.net.au/loyyanga

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Meet Veronique

Veronique Hamilton is a Mental Health Promotion Officer in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria. She is also one of Healthy Futures wonderful volunteers who regularly champions the climate action for health cause, especially from a mental health perspective. Here Veronique shares some of her story.

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Win! AGL drops demerger plans

Today marks a huge watershed movement in the long-running campaign to shift Australia’s biggest climate polluter AGL to replace its coal-burning power stations with renewable energy by 2030 - a campaign that hundreds of healthcare workers, organisations and community members have played a critical role in and one in which you should feel proud.

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Medical colleges call for coal phase-out by 2030

Today five leading medical colleges have released an open letter to federal, state and territory governments and all energy companies to replace coal with renewable energy by 2030. The letter follows a call from the World Health Organization for all OECD countries to phase out coal by 2030 in light of the harms posed by air pollution and actions needed globally to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

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Japanese Encephalitis - sounding the alarm bell

Dr Scott Abbinga is a committed volunteer with Healthy Futures. He also is an infectious disease registrar currently working at Monash Health in Melbourne and has recently treated a patient with Japanese Encephalitis. This experience highlighted Scott's concerns with the rise of infectious diseases due to climate change. 

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