Some of our leading medical scientists are calling for strong action on climate change

26.08.14 By

Here’s what they have to say

In an open letter, a dozen leading Australian medical scientists and health experts have called for strong action on climate change.

In particular, the scientists call for the inclusion of climate change on the agenda for this year’s G20 meeting:

“We urge you to include human-induced climate change and its serious health consequences on the agenda for this year’s G20 meeting. The world community looks to high-income countries for a strong lead. Current climate trends, driven by global warming, threaten the basis of future economic prosperity, regional political stability and human health.”

The letter’s authors include Nobel laureate Prof. Peter Doherty, and former Australians of the year Prof. Fiona Stanley and Prof. Gus Nossal, AC.

As noted in the letter, originally published in the Medical Journal of Australia – we are already feeling the effects of climate change on health:

“Adverse health outcomes related to climate change are already evident in many regions of the world. By mid century, serious health risks are likely to be widespread, particularly in vulnerable communities, including in Australia. Workloads and economic and logistical demands on the nation’s health system will also rise as these impacts increase”.

Other medical scientists and health experts around the world have also spoken out about the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions now, noting the health effects already being caused by extreme weather events such as heatwaves.