Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Climate policy needs a new lens: health and well-being

By Fiona Armstrong & Peter C. Doherty

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

As the new Australian parliament takes the reins, health groups are moving to ensure that health minister Sussan Ley addresses a major health threat in this term of government: climate change.

Largely ignored by successive federal governments, the health risks from climate change are increasingly urgent. One or two degrees of warming at a global level may not sound like much, but if you take many organisms (including humans) too far outside their comfort zone, the consequences are deadly.

The Climate and Health Alliance – a coalition of concerned health groups, researchers, academics and professional associations – is calling on the Australian government to develop a national strategy for climate, health and well-being.

How climate change affects health

Major increases in ill-health are anticipated from continued climate change. These include:

  • greater rates of injuries, disease and deaths associated with more intense heatwaves, fires and other extreme weather events;

  • increased risks of infectious and food- and water-borne diseases;

  • health consequences arising from lost work capacity because of extreme weather;

  • harmful effects on community mental health; and

  • ...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.