In Libya, catastrophic flooding has claimed many thousands of lives, with reports of whole neighbourhoods being washed out to sea, and around 10,000 people believed to be missing. Many other countries are also experiencing the devastation of extreme weather events fuelled by climate change.
The pressure on governments that continue to subsidise the fossil fuels industry and support new projects – as is happening in Australia – can only intensify. From 15-17 September, millions of people around the world are expected to take to the streets in coordinated actions to demand a rapid, just, and equitable end to fossil fuels.
This wave of global mobilisations will include a march in New York City on 17 September, focusing attention on the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit happening there on 20 September, with the aim of pushing governments to phase out fossil fuels faster.
According to organisers of the protests, they are a “call to solidarity with Indigenous and First Nations across the world who have been fighting the deadly fossil fuel industry and its enablers for decades”.
Say the organisers: “We need all hands on deck to keep building a fossil fuel-free world: youth activists, civil society organisations, social movements, feminist and migrant rights groups, trade unions, faith institutions, academic centres, health institutions, families and peoples of all genders and backgrounds, everywhere, all voices matter!”
Meanwhile in Australia, the Australian Medical Association and Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) are calling on federal, state and territory governments and the wider healthcare sector to take urgent action against climate change.
The two medical groups have signed a joint statement, which was also supported by five medical colleges, calling for a net zero target for the healthcare system by 2040, with an interim reduction target of 80 per cent by 2030, and extra government resources to help tackle climate change.
The statement was signed during the AMA and DEA’s annual webinar, Australia’s doctors – driving action on climate change, held on Tuesday evening.
It was also signed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australasian College of Dermatologists.
During the webinar, the AMA, DEA and the medical colleges described the urgent need for Australia’s healthcare sector to rapidly reduce its carbon footprint and transition away from greenhouse gas emissions.
While acknowledging the Government’s work in establishing the National Health Sustainability and Climate Unit, and the recent consultation to develop the National Health and Climate Strategy, they called for the unit to be properly resourced to effectively deliver the National Health and Climate Strategy.
Meanwhile, we can expect to hear more on related matters as the Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum kicks off. Follow #GreenHealthForum 23 for comprehensive tweeting.
No doubt this story will also be of interest to forum participants!
Meanwhile, the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration includes commitments on climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems.
More climate news
If you missed the launch of this report, that we covered recently, make sure to watch it below.
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