*** Check #JustClimate Twitter fest today, 12 noon-2pm AEDT ***
What should be the priorities for a national strategy on climate, health and wellbeing?
Here is the chance to have your say.
- Why we need a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, which highlights the climate, health and economic imperatives for action;
- The Policy Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, which details the vision, principles, and areas of policy action needed to achieve the desired outcomes of the Strategy;
- Implementing the Strategy, which details the governance arrangements and mechanisms for evaluation, monitoring and reporting on the Strategy’s progress.
I have just sent my feedback, suggesting that the seven areas of suggested policy action (as per below) should have an additional target to ensure an explicit focus on health inequalities.
While the framework mentions the increased risk to vulnerable people and communities, it would be helpful to see this embedded in a more thorough discussion of health inequities and health inequalities.
It’s important to ensure that climate and health policy responses explicitly seek to reduce health inequalities, rather than having the unintended consequences of increasing them.
Likewise, the framework’s proposed indicators for monitoring and reporting progress related to the strategy should include indicators that monitor the impacts on health inequalities of both climate change itself and of policy responses.
It would also be useful to see a wider discussion of the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ knowledges and practices, including caring for country and comprehensive approaches to primary health care, informing the strategy.
On that note – check out our #JustClimate series, and follow TWO HOURS OF TWITTER POWER, from 12 noon (AEDT) today.
Here is the Alliance’s blurb about the framework:
“The framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being outlines the policy actions that must be taken at the Federal, State/Territory and local level to support Australia in meeting its national interest in protecting population health from the impacts of climate change and meeting its international obligations in relation to the Paris Agreement.
This framework has been developed following extensive consultation with health care and policy stakeholders and draws on the findings from previous work, including response to the Discussion Paper: Towards a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being, published by the Climate and Health Alliance in 2016.
This paper identified the health impacts of climate change in Australia, and called on the Federal Government to take a leadership role in ensuring Australia is adequately prepared to both manage these risks and meet its Paris Agreement commitments through the development and implementation of a National Strategy on Climate Health and Well-being. This report is available at http://www.caha.org.au/national-strategy-climate-health-wellbeing:
While there is an expectation that the Federal Government provide leadership across climate change and health, consultation with stakeholders highlighted the need for a whole of government approach, with shared responsibility for implementation across multiple levels, sectors and jurisdictions. Political will and bipartisan support will be essential in developing and maintaining the necessary governance, funding, policy, infrastructure and resources required to achieve a shared vision for a fair and environmentally (ecologically) sustainable national policy framework that recognises, manages and addresses the health risks of climate change and promotes health through climate change action.
The overall purpose of the framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being is to:
- Present a high-level framework to guide government policy and decision-making processes in addressing climate change and health risks
- Enable the Federal Government to take a leadership role is protecting the health and well-being of Australian communities from the impacts of climate change
- Increase awareness and understanding of the health impacts of climate change in Australia and ensure these issues are included in the development and implementation of policies addressing climate change and emissions reduction
- Assist the Federal Government in fulfilling its international obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement, and its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Enhance both collaboration vertically (involving national, state and local governments) and horizontally (across multiple sectors and within the health sector itself), to support healthy, sustainable, low carbon, climate-resilient communities and health care services
- Ensure the strong economic imperative for action on climate change is reflected in the adoption of “win-win’ climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, which both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the social and economic burden of ill-health in the population.”
These are the groups supporting the strategy’s development (note that the Federal Health Department is not listed!)
• Read Croakey’s climate and health coverage here.