DEA welcomes the WA Climate and Health Inquiry the first statutory inquiry in the world focused on the health impacts of climate change. WA DEA Chair Dr Emma-Leigh Synnott says that although the report is focused on Western Australia, many of the recommendations are translatable to other states and territories. It could also be taken up at a national level through the formation of a coordinated National Climate and Health Strategy, which could be coordinated via a UK style National Sustainable Health Unit.
Dr Synnott says, " A powerful call to action, with clear enactable recommendations, this report articulates the urgency required for mitigation, adaptation, and resilience building not only in health but across our communities, towns, and cities.
"The report also clearly points out that any response, to be effective and long lasting, can not only occur in isolation in WA health, but must be a system- wide integrated response across all sectors.
"Released just a day after the sobering MJA-Lancet Countdown report, which highlights Australia’s significant vulnerability to the health impacts of climate change, the Climate and Health Inquiry similarly articulates the clear risks that climate change poses to individuals and communities in WA.
"With the health sector contributing an estimated 7% of Australia’s total emissions, the report reflects prior statements by the AMA and DEA that it too needs to do its part in reducing carbon emissions and waste production.
"It highlights that the health and social sectors must also prepare themselves for what will be unavoidable climate impacts, with the need for a system wide approach to be coordinated across all sectors in meeting with this threat.
"The report speaks to the urgency required in responding-- with the next decade noted as being critical for emissions reduction-- if we are to avoid the worst of climate impacts.
"We can not only adapt and prepare for inevitable climate change health impacts, but we can commit to reducing future harm through a plan for the decarbonisation of the health sector and helping to minimise these impacts both now, and into the future."
Read the WA Climate and Health Inquiry report HERE.
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