Sep 22, 2005

Doctors’ diagnosis damns Government complacency over climate change

Doctors’ diagnosis damns Government complacency over climate change

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

22 September 2005

Today’s Report by the Australian Medical Association and the Australian Conservation Foundation damns the Howard Government’s complacency over climate change.

The Report highlights the real and present danger climate change poses to health in Australia. The Report calls out for a national response to climate change.

I suggest the AMA and ACF do not hold their breath.

The Howard Government has consistently ignored the experts and relies on political spin to deal with climate change. Unfortunately for all Australians, this approach will ultimately damage our nation’s economy and all Australians’ health.

The Government’s own Climate Change Report estimated Australia could be 2ºC hotter by 2030 and that this increase would be devastating for Australia, with more severe wind speeds in cyclones, more severe heatwaves and bushfires, extended droughts, reduced rainfall in southern Australia and extensive damage to the Great Barrier Reef.

Rising temperatures will lead to 1,000’s of deaths from heat related illnesses.

As our planet gets sick, so will we.

In the same way a 2ºC increase in human body temperature will make us very sick, climate change is also making the planet sick.

Despite the warnings from the medical and scientific community, the Howard Government stubbornly refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

The Howard Government’s refusal to show leadership at home or be part of serious international efforts to combat climate change is bad environmental policy, bad health policy and bad for the Australian economy.

Climate change threatens our health, our economy, our natural resources and our children’s future. Delaying action for a decade, or even just years, is no longer an option.

The AMA and ACF’s climate change Report is a call to action which requires a determined response, not complacency.