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.


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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Zero Carbon Bill

Submission 19 July 2018

OraTaiao submission to the Ministry for the Environment on the Zero Carbon Bill

Thank you for the opportunity to have input into the Zero Carbon Bill. This submission was prepared by representative members of OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council below.

As New Zealand’s premier climate change NGO focused on wellbeing and equity, we would also welcome the opportunity to have further input into the drafting and form of the eventual Zero Carbon Act and the Climate Change Commission.

We welcome the Bill, which is not just crucial to reducing New Zealand emissions, but is also some of the most important health legislation of our generation. OraTaiao, alongside other experts in climate change and health, considers that tackling climate change is potentially the greatest global health opportunity this century. With that in mind, our submission is focused on the potential health gains and the other co-benefits from New Zealand reducing its emissions.

Read the rest of the submission here.

 

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NZ Herald: Doctors urged to back fresh effort on climate change

Dr Andrea Forde, Dr Scott Metcalfe, and policy analyst Liz Springford, set out the importance of tackling climate change.

Read here.

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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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Briefings to Incoming Ministers Jan 2018

See links below for OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council's briefings from January 2018:

 

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Climate change, human health and the CPTPP

Editorial in the NZ Medical Journal, Volume 131, by Dr Rhys Jones, Dr Joshua Freeman et al.  Read here

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Blog from Bonn – our member Emily Rushton is there

The UN Climate Change 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) is underway in Bonn, Germany.

Emily Rushton, a OraTaiao member, is at COP23 and this is her first blog.

 

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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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