Media Releases


Urgent action needed to stop global temperatures rising more than 1.5°C

MEDIA RELEASE
8 October 2018

Health professionals are intensifying calls for urgent emissions reduction in response to a report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, is the most comprehensive scientific assessment ever made of climate change. The report says 1.5°C is possible, but rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society are now needed. “The report makes it very clear that we must act urgently to keep global warming under 1.5°C for the sake of our health,” says Dr Alex Macmillan, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council.

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Healthy economic decision to end off-shore oil exploration

MEDIA RELEASE
28 September 2018

OraTaiao welcomes the government’s amendment bill to stop offering new oil permits as a sound decision for NZ’s economy and our health. This bill is a step in the right direction to protect the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders and meet our Paris obligations.

“It’s very clear that almost all the oil, gas and coal we already know about needs to stay in the ground - they can’t be burnt because of the implications for climate change and human health. This makes further exploration foolish,” said Dr Alex Macmillan, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council after the introduction of the Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Bill on Monday.

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Health risks of “Hothouse Earth” a disaster

MEDIA RELEASE
9 August 2018

A report released this week on the dangers of heading towards “Hothouse Earth” makes it clear that climate change is now a public health emergency.

'Just as we would react to the threat of pandemic, we need to speed up our efforts to tackle emissions and protect health,' says Dr Rhys Jones, Co-convenor of OraTaio: The NZ Climate and Health Council.

The report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, states, 'the Earth System may be approaching a planetary threshold that could lock in a continuing, rapid pathway towards much hotter conditions — Hothouse Earth.'

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An historic meeting for climate change and health

MEDIA RELEASE
6 July 2018

Today members of 18 leading health professional organisations met with the Minister for Climate Change, Hon. James Shaw, to add their collective voices of support for a strong Zero Carbon Act.

The meeting, hosted by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, included organisations representing tens of thousands of nurses, doctors and other health professionals. Attendees were united in their call for decisive action on climate change to protect and improve health and fairness for New Zealanders.

“There is a strong consensus among health professionals that NZ needs a robust law to get to net zero greenhouse gas emissions,” says Dr Rhys Jones, co-convenor of OraTaiao, the NZ Climate & Health Council.

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UN report has serious implications for NZ’s Zero Carbon Bill - a crucial bill for health

MEDIA RELEASE
29 June 2018

The latest reported draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C shows growing certainty that 2°C of warming is a dangerous step for humanity, and for the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders. Differences between global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C are “substantial” – damaging to communities, economies and ecosystems across the world.

As well as cutting carbon dioxide to net zero, rapid reductions in other gases, "particularly methane", are demanded by the UN report. The report also calls for "more emphasis on efforts to cut emissions before 2030". The Zero Carbon Bill will need to be further strengthened to ensure it is responding to the science.

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Zero Carbon Bill crucial for NZ’s health – but must be faster, fairer and Treaty-based

MEDIA RELEASE
7 June 2018

Health professionals welcome today’s public consultation launch for the Zero Carbon Bill, saying it is crucial for New Zealanders’ health. However, they warn that the Bill will need to be seriously strengthened for faster, fairer protection of a healthy climate.

The Bill (modelled on the UK’s successful Climate Change Act 2008), proposes a consistent policy framework for NZ to reach net zero climate pollution in the coming decades. This is vital for protecting human health and wellbeing, in the context of global action.

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NZ Government commitment to CPTPP without independent assessment of health and climate change impacts would be grossly negligent

MEDIA RELEASE
26 January 2018

Health professionals remain concerned that the so-called Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will obstruct action to address major 21stcentury health threats such as climate change.

Without decisive action, the impacts of climate change on health in the coming decades will be serious and far-reaching. These impacts have been described clearly in a recent report published by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Urgent action is therefore needed to reduce future impacts on health, and to take advantage of the enormous opportunities to improve New Zealanders’ health right here and now. This includes rapidly transitioning our economies to renewable energy.

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Major international report describes climate change as a looming public health emergency

MEDIA RELEASE
31 October 2017

New research shows that climate change is already damaging the health of millions of people and is a looming global health emergency. These are the conclusions of a joint reportfrom The Lancet Countdown, an international research collaboration that provides a global overview of the relationship between public health and climate change.

Dr Rhys Jones, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council, says the report should prompt widespread, urgent action. “It shows that the effects of climate change on human health are undeniable and potentially irreversible.”

New Zealand is not immune to the threats posed by climate change, as highlighted in a recent Royal Society of New Zealand report, Human Health Impacts of Climate Change for New Zealand.

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Healthy climate is an essential prescription for New Zealand

MEDIA RELEASE
26 October 2017

Health professionals say a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand should be a wake-up call about the wide-ranging health impacts of climate change.

The report, Human Health Impacts of Climate Change for New Zealand, brings together an extensive body of evidence, highlighting the profound implications of climate change for health and quality of life.

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Health professionals welcome MAS's move to divest from fossil fuels

MEDIA RELEASE
20 September 2017

Health professionals are welcoming the recent move by Medical Assurance Society (MAS) to divest from fossil fuels, saying it shows strong leadership for a healthy climate future.

The society has announced that, from September 14, their KiwiSaver and Retirement Savings Plans will no longer invest in fossil fuels, as well as armaments and tobacco. This policy will also apply to MAS reserves, the money MAS holds to invest for the future and to pay insurance claims.

According to MAS, this represents more than $1.4 billion of investment funds, which “will be playing their part for global health and wellbeing.”

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