Media Releases


‘Call to action on climate change and health’ from health organisations

Ten New Zealand health organisations have released a joint ‘Call to Action on Climate Change and Health’ today.

The ten organisations, including national professional bodies for doctors, nurses, midwives and medical students, say they recognise climate change as an increasingly serious and urgent threat to health and fairness in New Zealand and worldwide. In contrast, they point to specific policy responses that provide exciting opportunities to improve health and create a fairer society.

 

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World Health Organization holds groundbreaking health and climate conference

The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding its first conference on climate change and health at its headquarters in Geneva this week, with New Zealand health experts in attendance.

The conference has support from world leaders including Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, head of the World Bank, and Prince Charles. Conference sessions are being live streamed on the internet to allow health professionals all over the world to participate.

Since 2008 WHO has shown leadership in raising awareness of the health threats posed by climate change. This conference aims to help health communities to protect health in the face of climate change, and to take advantage of the health benefits associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

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“Will your party hand over our right to make laws to the US?” ask doctors

Doctors are calling on all political parties to immediately declare their position on the re-drafting of New Zealand’s laws that protect health under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Medical professionals concerned about the health risks from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, today reacted with shock at the revelations that New Zealand laws could be effectively re-written without the public’s knowledge by the United States.

 

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No more hesitation, we need climate legislation

Health professionals strongly support Generation Zero’s ‘Big Ask’ for cross-party legislative action on climate.

“We must work together now to respond to our changing climate,” says Dr Alex Macmillan, acting co-convenor of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council. “Enshrining into legislation ambitious targets and how we plan to get there is a powerful way of addressing climate change.”

 

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Climate-damaging West Coast coal expansion threatens health

Health professionals concerned about climate change are alarmed by Bathurst Resources Limited’s announcement this week that site clearance for coal mining on the Denniston Plateau is to start on 1 July.

“Coal is one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels”, says Dr Rhys Jones from OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council. “This means that it poses serious risks to health through its contribution to climate change.”

 

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Prevention of fracking harms would be shackled by trade deal

A new report concludes that fracking practices in NZ pose risks to health and the environment. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has recommended that regulations be overhauled and tightened to protect New Zealanders from harm. But the Government’s secret trade negotiations would allow foreign fossil fuel companies to sue us if we do so. Again, this
report demonstrates how the TPPA will undermine our sovereignty in addressing our most important public health issues like climate change.

 

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Midwives Call for Urgent Climate Action

The New Zealand College of Midwives has successfully called for urgent climate action, with a ground-breaking position statement on climate change accepted today by the International Confederation of Midwives meeting in Prague.

The Confederation, representing more than 300,000 midwives from 102 nations, recognises the serious consequences of our changing climate for women, babies and their families, as well as midwives themselves.

 

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Doctors call for all political parties to act on climate

New Zealand doctors have welcomed recent political efforts on climate change, and are calling for real action by all political parties for what is a leading health challenge.

The ‘Climate Protection Plan’ released today by the Green Party has been welcomed by OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council, as a specific, fair and realistic plan to curb our greenhouse pollution.

 

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Doctors support healthy and just transition for coal communities

The Health group OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council has welcomed today’s launch of the report ‘Jobs After Coal’ by Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CANA).

“This report dispels the myth that coal extraction is necessary for jobs and economic security in New Zealand” says Dr Rhys Jones, Co-convenor for the Council. “But most importantly, this report reminds us of the risk of runaway climate change from continuing unrestrained fossil fuel exploitation.”

 

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Negotiations put multinational profits before health, say health professionals

More than 270 healthcare professionals from around New Zealand have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister published in the Dominion Post today, warning of the threat to New Zealanders’ health from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Leaked text of the TPPA chapter on investment contains major provisions saying that business interests can sue governments for billions of dollars if a country introduces a law and a foreign investor would lose substantial value or profits. These provisions in the trade agreements (called Investor State Dispute Settlement) apply irrespective of what the business is and say that government regulation must not get in the way of investors’ profit.

 

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