Health and Energy Policy
The Climate and Health Alliance is engaged in a series of projects to raise awareness among health professionals and the wider community about the risks to health from current energy policy in Australia, based as it is on fossil fuels, particularly for energy generation and transport.
Prominent health organisations from across Australia are calling for a phase out of coal citing a growing and significant body of research documenting severe health effects.
The health groups include: the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), National Toxics Network (NTN), Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH), Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA), Women’s Health East (WHE) and CAHA.
Health and Energy Choices: Joint Position Paper and Background Paper
All sources of energy to support human activity have implications for health. We, as a society, need to choose how we harvest energy so that we use the ones with the least overall adverse impacts on health.
These papers on Health and Energy Choices seek to open this discussion for Australia, and begin a national conversation about making energy choices that benefit us now and into the future.
This Position Paper outlines the concerns and recommendations for action to reduce risks to health from current energy choices.
It has been produced by a collaboration of health sector organisations concerned that the health impacts Australia’s energy choices are not being considered in public policy decision-making.
An accompanying Background Paper provides an overview of evidence with regard to the risks to human health and wellbeing associated with fossil fuel energy resources as well as their alternatives.
Download Papers as PDFs
Papers as PDFs with High-res images (300dpi compressed)
The human cost of power
The Climate and Health Alliance, together with the Public Health Association of Australia, has commissioned a new short film: The Human Cost of Power, released in September 2013.
Produced by Fiona Armstrong and directed by award winning science journalist Alexandra de Blas, this film explores the health impacts associated with the massive expansion of coal and unconventional gas in Australia.
The film features respected health and medical experts: Associate Professor Linda Selvey, Associate Professor Ruth Colaguiri, Dr Mariann Lloyd Smith, and Dr George Crisp. Click here to check out the film on CAHA’s Youtube channel.
Roundtable on the Health Implications of Energy Policy
As part of this project, the Climate and Health Alliance partnered with the Climate Change Adaptation Research Network – Human Health, Public Health Association of Australia, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, and National Rural Health Alliance in holding a Roundtable and Workshop for health leaders on the Health Implications of Energy Policy in Canberra in February 2013.
The Roundtable for health leaders and energy experts was also attended by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Dr Chris Baggoley, and heard from expert speakers on the health implications of current energy policy and sustainable energy systems and policy options.
A Joint Statement from Roundtable participants, including the leading health groups, and joined by Cancer Council Australia, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), National Toxics Network (NTN), Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), and NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) announced their intention to work together collaboratively to highlight the adverse health impacts and environmental damages associated with current minerals energy policy, particularly those relating to coal and coal seam gas.
Click here for the media release and Joint Statement on the Health Effects of Australia’s Minerals and Energy Policy.