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Healthy Futures sends open letter to Climate Change Minister detailing health impacts of methane emissions

Healthy Futures 2 mins read

Healthy Futures sends open letter to Climate Change Minister detailing the health impacts of coal and gas methane emissions

 

Healthy Futures, a prominent health and climate advocacy organisation in Australia, Healthy Futures has delivered a significant open letter urging Minister Bowen to regulate methane emissions from coal and gas better. The letter has been signed by over 10 of Australia’s peak health bodies, including the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, The Australian Federation of Medical Women, Doctors for the Environment Australia and the Climate and Health Alliance.

 

These signatories collectively represent over 350,000 health workers. The letter emphasises the urgency of tackling methane emissions and outlines the health benefits associated with strong mitigation strategies. The Australasian College of Emergency Medicine knows all too well the increase and severity of climate patients arriving in Australia’s emergency rooms. The Royal College of General Practitioners are first-line responders to climate change impacts The Australian Nurses and Midwives Federation are passionately advocating for urgent action on climate. This is all to say: Health workers in Australia are deeply concerned by their experiences as medical service providers dealing with climate change's health impacts. 

 

Over 100 Healthy Futures Supporters, including some of Australia’s most esteemed health professionals, have also written directly to Minister Bowen, advocating for policy change on methane from coal and gas. 

 

Key asks from health professionals: 

  • Methane is a potent threat for health: Methane is a dangerous greenhouse gas with a significant warming effect that is accelerating climate change and contributes to the formation of ground ozone, a major component of air pollution

  • There are significant respiratory risks that could be avoided: Ground-level ozone, or smog, triggers and exacerbates respiratory illnesses like asthma, bronchitis, and COPD, leading to preventable hospitalisations and mortality

  • Climate change is a public health emergency: unmitigated methane emissions are contributing to a climate catastrophe, threatening public health security. Extreme weather events disrupt food security, increased health-related illnesses and mortality, and spread infectious diseases. 

Quotes:

“Healthy Futures is urging the Australian government to take decisive action to reduce methane emissions from the coal and gas sector to protect public health,” said campaign manager Bronwyn McDonald

“Methane from coal and gas extraction significantly contributes to global warming, and we know climate change is the biggest public health emergency there is. We need better coal and gas methane regulation now” Dr Harry Jennens GP

“Australia needs to urgently curtail fossil fuel methane emissions to reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change and its extremely harmful health impacts” Dr Magdalena Simonis, President of the Australian Federation of Medical Women 

“Australia is lagging behind on methane reduction regulations. We need stronger standards to protect our health and fight cliamte change,” Dr Kate Wylie, Executive Director of DEA 

 

Contact:

Bronwyn McDonald Healthy Futures Climate Change Campaigner bronwyn.mcdonald@healthyfutures.net.au 0408 477 403

 


About us:

Healthy Futures is one of Australia's leading Health and Climate Advocacy organisations


Contact details:

Bronwyn McDonald Healthy Futures Climate Change Campaigner bronwyn.mcdonald@healthyfutures.net.au 0408 477 403

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