8 May 2019
Health professionals have offered a mixed response to the Zero Carbon Bill, which was introduced into Parliament today. They applaud its purpose to prevent global warming of more than 1.5 degrees, but say aspects of the bill lack the necessary urgency and accountability.
“The Bill’s targets as they stand today would be too little, too late,” said Dr Rhys Jones, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council. “The Zero Carbon Bill is too weak on agricultural emissions which comprise almost half of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions. We need to see a move away from beef and dairy for both the sake of human and planetary health.”Read more
8 May 2019
Health workers delivered a strong message to the Coalition Government at the National Forum on Sustainable Healthcare today. They are asking for urgent policy to ensure that District Health Boards (DHBs) and the wider health sector are held accountable for their greenhouse gas emissions and environmental footprint.
An open letter to the Ministers of Health and Climate Change was presented. Signed by over 900 New Zealand healthcare workers wanting change, the message to the Government is that the health sector is ready to lead NZ to a sustainable and healthy future.Read more
26 March 2019
Health professionals have expressed concern about a newly-released report by New Zealand’s Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment examining how to deal with greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. While the report contains some useful ideas, they say, it fails to hold the agricultural sector accountable for its harm to both the environment and human health.
In considering the merits of potential policy options, the report proposes leaving biological emissions out of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and instead taking a ‘landscape approach’ to managing climate and environmental issues. It effectively undermines the case for the agricultural sector to immediately face a price on biological emissions under the ETS.Read more
13 March 2019
Health professionals are pledging their support for school students around New Zealand who will be striking this Friday to call for meaningful action on climate change.
“As health professionals we know that climate change is already affecting the wellbeing of children and young people,” says Dr Alex Macmillan, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council.
“For as long as adults in leadership and government fail to act adequately to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, we will support school students to strike in protection of their own futures.”Read more
Striking at the heart of the issue. Dr Alex Macmillan. Otago Daily Times, 11 March 2019.
Children are going on strike over their health and wellbeing while schools are still burning coal.
OraTaiao submission, 5 March 2019
'Climate change is increasingly recognised as the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century, as well as the greatest opportunity to improve health. As senior doctors, nurses and other health professionals, we are advocating on behalf of our patients and communities. One of our strategic priorities is to: “Demonstrate leadership in achieving a climate-resilient net zero emissions health sector”.'
'Procurement contracts are a powerful tool to leverage action on climate change and as New Zealand is a signatory to the Paris Agreement, the success of New Zealand’s obligations will hinge on precisely such measures as government procurement rules.'
Read the submission here (PDF).
The Government is consulting on its procurement rules, which affect the $41 billion it spends each year buying goods and services from third party suppliers. Procurement contracts are a powerful tool to leverage action on climate change.
Please take the time to submit on the proposed changes.
Consultation closes at 5pm on Tuesday 5 March 2019.
Wellington, 16 February 2019, 9am-3.30pm
We are holding our 2-yearly Strategic Planning Meeting at the medical school in Wellington on Saturday 16 February. All members are welcome to attend and provide input. We will use the day to develop OraTaiao’s strategic direction and priorities for the next two years (2019-2021). As well as that, it is a great (and relatively rare) chance to catch up face-to-face. We will begin with morning tea at 9am for a 9.30am start. Members please check your emails for details of how to join in person or by video/teleconference.
18 January 2018
New Zealand health professionals are applauding a landmark report that outlines how to achieve healthy and sustainable eating patterns for a future global population of 10 billion people.
The report was produced by the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health – a partnership between a global non-profit group and one of the world’s leading medical journals. It is the product of three years of work by 37 international experts working across a range of scientific disciplines.Read more
Article on how Māori communities are facing up to threats of coastal erosion and flooding as a result of climate change, with comments from Dr Rhys Jones.