Win-win-win for health and consumers on climate
The potential of a shift to cleaner and cheaper sources of renewable energy offers a watershed opportunity for Australia’s economy and health, the Consumers Health Forum said today.
CHF has joined the Climate and Health Alliance in signing an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to tackle climate change with the same urgency as taken with COVID-19.
“We seek specifically a comprehensive nationally coordinated response to climate change that puts health and well-being at its core,” the CEO of CHF, Leanne Wells, said today.
“CAHA has released its latest report, 'Healthy, Regenerative and Just: Our vision for a better future', which presents a convincing case for our national Government to respond to the economic and climate realities for the good of Australia’s health and economy.
“The mounting evidence for renewable energy to provide a lower cost alternative to fossil fuels including gas, and for a cleaner environment have made the benefits clearer than ever.
“As the CAHA report states, Policies that achieve better health and well-being outcomes and minimise risks while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs and saving money are win-win-win options. Fortunately, many carefully designed climate mitigation policies (particularly in the areas of energy, transport, planning, and food/agriculture), can achieve all these goals. This also requires shifting public and private finance and investment towards green and net zero carbon initiatives to accelerate the transition.
“CHF supports a much stronger focus on those measures that will strengthen the capacity of all Australians to meet the challenges of climate change and to reap the benefits of action. These include:
- Building resilience and capacity in the community, including dedicated support for communities faced with immediate and ongoing impact of climate change
- Investing in education for health professionals and the community to better understand the links between climate change and health
- Investing in more research to guide understanding risks, vulnerabilities and effective solutions.
“Australians has shown their ability to change and adapt to the dangers of COVID. With the right leadership and direction, we can do it with our response to climate change and its affects on consumer health and wellbeing too.
“Now is the time for that conversation,” Ms Wells said.