This section has our latest media work (including media releases, opinion editorials, radio and television interviews, and letters to the editor), as well as the latest submissions, publications, briefing papers and position statements.

To access older items, please click on the relevant links above. Media enquiries, see contact us.


Stuff.co.nz: Māori are among the most vulnerable to climate change

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.

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NZ Herald: Report: Climate change already a global health emergency

Article on the Lancet Countdown 2018 report with quotes from co-convenor Dr Rhys Jones.

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Major health report shows urgent climate action needed

MEDIA STATEMENT
29 November 2018

A newly released report highlights that climate change poses an unacceptably high level of risk for the health of populations around the world.

The 2018 Lancet Countdown report, released today ahead of the international climate change negotiations, was jointly authored by leading doctors, academics and policy professionals from 27 organisations. It tracks the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the associated health threats and opportunities.

“The report shows that our lack of progress threatens both human lives and the viability of national health systems they depend on,” says Dr Rhys Jones, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council.

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Otago Daily Times: 1918 flu has lessons for climate change

Article on State of Public Health lecture given by co-convenors Dr Alexandra Macmillan and Dr Rhys Jones.

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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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Improvements to the Emissions Trading Scheme

OraTaiao submission on the "Improvements to the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme: Consultation document". 24 September 2018

'We support the government’s intention to act with urgency and improve the ETS. We are, however, concerned by the highly technical nature of the consultation documents. We consider that currently, input is severely constrained from those who will bear not only the impacts of climate change, but also the impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation policies. The ETS is complex, but because of the far-reaching implications for New Zealanders, it’s essential that every effort is madeto widen this discussion. We consider it essential that there is a clear statement of the principles upon which the ETS is based, and that this is developed with due democratic process.

'Our greatest concerns are firstly, that the ETS continues to fail to deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions because not all sectors are included, and/or because there is a weak pricingmechanism and/or there is no “sinking lid” on the number of units being auctioned. Secondly, weare concerned that the ETS will increase social and health inequities this issue can be mitigated through good recycling of revenue to support a low-carbon transition for low-income, Māori andPacific households. Thirdly, we are concerned about corruption in the ETS process, through the purchasing of overseas credits.'

Read full submission here.

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Government climate and health equity priorities must prompt a deeper re-think of health and healthcare for the 21st century

Editorial by Dr Alex Macmillan and Dr Rhys Jones. The New Zealand Medical Journal 31 August 2018, Vol 131 No 1481.

'This year, in an historic move, the Minister of Health issued letters of expectation to all DHBs which included a directive for action by DHBs to address climate change, together with a priority to reduce health inequities. The new climate change requirement recognises that the health sector is not only a major contributor to the greatest public health issue facing us, but also has the potential to show leadership in addressing climate change in ways that protect and promote health. It can be put in the context of healthcare ethics, particularly that it is unethical to provide healthcare while also harming health through environmental pollution. For this reason, accounting for environmental impacts of healthcare is enshrined in the legislation governing District Health Boards.'

NZMJ subscriber content here.

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Pro-equity climate change and environmental sustainability action by district health boards in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Article by Dr Hayley Bennett and Dr Paula King providing practical examples of pro-equity climate change action by district health boards. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 31 August 2018, Vol 131 Number 1481. NZMJ subscriber content here.

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Economic consequences of climate change

Liz Springford letter. Discusses OECD report on the economic consequences of climate change. The Dominion Post, 31 July 2018.

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