What's health got to do with it?
A fair bit!
Climate change could mean more frequent and more severe extreme weather events, including heatwaves, floods, fires and storms leading to increased illnesses such as an increased incidence of infectious diseases, vector borne diseases, air pollution, mental illness, poor water quality and food insecurity. Health care services in Australia are already experiencing the health effects from climate change with increases in service demand from heat wave related illnesses and deaths.
The good news is there are considerable health and economic benefits associated with changes that we can all make to ensure we live healthier lives and reduce emissions for a healthier planet. Actions to reduce carbon emissions not only reduce the health risks associated with climate change and environmental harm, but can also improve health outcomes, and reduce health care costs from increases in physical activity, improved air quality and improved diet.
Here are some approaches to not only get you healthier, but keep our planet healthy too:
- Shifting to low emissions transport can significantly improve air quality and reduce the burden of respiratory disease.
- More active transport systems can cut the incidence of obesity, chronic illness and cardiovascular disease.
- Shifting away from coal as a fuel source for electricity will improve air quality and reduce related deaths from lung cancer and heart disease.
- Changing to a diet with lower meat consumption can cut emissions from livestock production as well the incidence of heart disease and diabetes.
Climate change is a health issue for Australians and we can make sure our communities and families live better and healthier lives by committing to substantial and rapid emissions reductions.
Scroll down and check out what else Australians are doing in this space to make our planet and ourselves healthier.
Climate and Health Alliance
The Climate and Health Alliance was established in August 2010 and is a coalition of health care stakeholders who wish to see the threat to human health from climate change and ecological degradation addressed through prompt policy action.
If you are a health professional and want to advocate for climate action or if you are someone who is passionate about the Australian people’s health and well being where climate change is concerned, please visit CAHA's website to learn more.