Australia Leads The Way As Top Medical Body Declares Climate Change A Health Emergency
Maintaining that there is “clear scientific evidence indicating severe impacts for our patients and communities now and into the future”, Australia’s top medical body has officially declared climate change a health emergency.
The AMA said that it follows similar decisions by the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians and British Medical Association earlier in 2019 and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2015.
The AMA has recognized the health risks associated with global warming since 2004. This body representing Australian doctors is now calling on the Australian government to promote an active transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Tony Bartone, President of the AMA, said in a statement that climate change affects health by promoting the spread of infectious diseases and through extreme heatwaves.
“There is no doubt that climate change is a health emergency. The AMA accepts the scientific evidence on climate change and its impact on human health and human wellbeing.”
“Climate change will cause injury and mortality from increasingly severe weather events. Climate change will cause increases in the transmission of vector-borne diseases.
“Climate change will cause food insecurity resulting from declines in agricultural outputs. Climate change will cause a higher incidence of mental ill-health.”
A coalition of medical groups including the Royal Australian College of Physicians and Australian Medical Students’ Association wrote an open letter to political parties in April, warning of the “significant and profound impacts” of climate change on health and wellbeing.
According to The Guardian, emissions in Australia have increased every year since the Abbott government repealed a national carbon price after taking office in 2013.