Dr Alison Blaiklock's contribution to the Health and Human Rights Journal COP21 series. Read here.
OraTaiao is excited to be a partner organisation in the upcoming 2015 Peoples Climate March NZ, 28 November. This is a chance for New Zealanders from all walks of life - including health - to tell Governments and climate negotiators that commitment to urgent, healthy, and fair climate action is what we must see at Paris. These may be the largest global marches in history!
Blog contribution to this international journal series by Gay Keating from OraTaiao - about climate change, health and human rights.
Dr Gay Keating's contribution to the Health and Human Rights Journal COP21 series. Read here.
Eighteen of NZ’s most prestigious health professional organisations are today calling for action on climate change and health, pressing for New Zealand to take urgent action on this critical health issue.
These health groups represent tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, midwives, public health workers, and medical students as well as leading Universities. They are calling on the NZ government, the health sector, and all levels of society to make an urgent transition to a low-emissions NZ, in a way that boosts health and creates a fairer society. Full text with signatories - as of April 2018. Media release.
The release of the NZ ‘Call for Action’ coincides with a global day of action by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and the issuing of a their global Consensus Statement ‘Act now to reduce the damaging health impacts of climate change’ aimed at the UN global climate negotiations in Paris in December.
The Health Organisations that have signed the NZ 'Call for Action' include:
• OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council
• The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
• The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA)
• NZ Nurses Organisation
• Health Promotion Forum of NZ
• Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
• NZ College of Public Health Medicine
• NZ College of Midwives
• Public Health Association of NZ
• Colleges of Nurses Aotearoa NZ
• New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists
• The University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
• The University of Otago Division of Health Sciences
• Auckland University Medical Students Association
• Medical Students for Global Awareness
• NZ Medical Students Association
Also, sign the World Health Organization 'Call for urgent action to protect health from climate change'
A global climate-health campaign ‘Our Climate Our Health’ launched this week aims to put health at the heart of climate negotiations and policy.
The Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) campaign aims to raise awareness of the ways that climate change impacts on health, and the health benefits of climate action.
‘Our Climate Our Health’ joins the building health voice calling for health to be central to climate negotiations and policy, along with ‘Doctorsforclimateaction’, the World Health Organization, and NZ Health Professionals.Read more
Sixteen of NZ’s most prestigious health professional organisations are today calling for New Zealand to take urgent action on climate change and health, a critical health issue.
These health groups represent tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, midwives, public health workers, and medical students, as well as all the medical and health sciences staff and students at Auckland and Otago Universities.
The 16 groups are calling on the NZ government, the health sector, and all levels of society to make an urgent transition to a low-emissions NZ, in ways that boost health and create a fairer society.Read more
Today the World Health Organization is calling for health professionals around the world to push for a strong effective climate agreement at the UN Climate Conference in Paris this December. In the WHO’s words, “health professionals have a duty of care to current and future generations”.
Dr Alex Macmillan, co-convenor of OraTaiao, NZ’s Climate and Health Council, says that the WHO claims the Paris Climate Conference can create “the most important health agreement of the century”.
“The WHO states clearly that this is an opportunity to not only address the climate crisis and its health consequences, but to also create large, immediate health gains, reducing costs to health systems and communities”, explains Dr Macmillan.
More details on the WHO’s call can be found at its webpage dedicated to its global change campaign at http://www.who.int/globalchange/global-campaign/en/Read more
Letter by NZ surgeons John McCall, Russell Tregonning and Mark Smith. Cutting Edge, Issue 56, September 2015. Read full letter here.
“New Zealand is missing out on too many health opportunities by leaving real climate planning to just a couple of political parties” says Dr Alex Macmillan, co-convenor of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council.
Today the Green Party has launched ‘Yes we can! A plan for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions’, which demonstrates how New Zealand could achieve a 40% reduction in climate pollution by 2030 in an affordable way. The Council would like to see strong climate leadership shared by all political parties.
“As world-leading medical journal The Lancet recently reported, a business-as-usual approach to climate change will undo the important health and life expectancy gains of the last half century. The Lancet also described tackling climate change as potentially the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century” says Dr Macmillan.Read more
In a world first, the Dutch court has ordered the state to reduce its climate-changing emissions by 25% (on 1990 levels) in the next five years, to protect its people from climate change.
The law suit was brought to the courts by the Urgenda Foundation, backed by 900 citizens.
The court ruled that because of the great risks posed by climate change, the State has a ‘duty of care’ to take stronger action to reduce climate change (mitigation).
This ruling comes in the same week as a leading international medical journal The Lancet has reconfirmed climate change as the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.Read more
'Climate Change and Health'. Content from interviews with OraTaiao Co-convenors Dr Alex Macmillan and Dr Rhys Jones, RadioNZ Our Changing World 24 June 2015.
OraTaiao's submission on Government’s consultation on setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target. 3 June 2015.
The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand's planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say.
Doctors, nurses, public health professionals and medical students today expressed alarm about the government’s scrambled public consultation on New Zealand’s post-2020 climate contribution.Read more
OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council warns that negotiations over the Trans- Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) threaten New Zealand’s ability to protect our climate and health.
The Council’s concerns mirror today’s publication of an open letter to the Prime Minister
The biggest threat is the ‘Investor State Dispute Settlement’ (ISDS) provisions. This mechanism allows overseas companies, including fossil fuel companies, to sue our Government if any local law changes might substantially affect their value or profits.Read more
OraTaiao submission states 'the Council’s priority must be creating the infrastructure to support the just transition to a low emissions economy, with particular attention to the most vulnerable households in Wellington. We consider better understanding the implications of climate changes – not just sea level rises and extreme weather events – for our Wellington economy and communities as critical.'
Read full submission here.
OraTaiao 'welcomes Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Climate Change Strategy. We are concerned that the strategy under-emphasises mitigation – reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. There are many sound reasons why rapidly reducing the region’s greenhouse gas emissions is the best course for the region’s economic and social wellbeing – including future-proofing our region and securing real health gains in the short and longer term'.
Read full submission here.
OraTaiao points out that:'To be resilient, modern cities must address man-made climate change and its causes. Our Council has major concerns that the climate and health implications of the RLT Plan have not been addressed. We call on GW to perform an updated Health Impact Assessment of any of its major transport plans, taking into account Climate Change and the wide health effects of transport policies on the community.'
Read full submission here.