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05 Apr 2019

Understanding the Link Between Climate Change and Health

A study commissioned by the Victorian Government has found that while health is a top priority issue for Victorians, there is lack of awareness amongst the community about the link between health and climate change.

The study found 62% of Victorians hold a general sense that climate change will have a negative impact on human health in the future, however, their level of understanding of how and who’s health will be impacted is unknown.

Member for Southern Metropolitan, Nina Taylor, launched the findings today at a TAKE2 Roundtable Climate Change and Health: Assisting Vulnerable Communities, hosted by Sustainability Victoria and the Victoria Council of Social Service –

As the health impacts of climate change are likely to be significant it is important that there is an understanding about the level of community awareness and knowledge on the issue.

The social research found health is a top priority issue for Victorians while climate change ranked much lower. However, understanding the potential health impacts of climate change inspired participants to learn more and engage with the issue. SV will conduct further research among the Victorian public to gain reliable measures of awareness and understanding in relation to climate change and health, and to gain further insights into how linking the two issues can be used to boost actions and the perception of climate change as a top priority issue

The World Health Organisation has estimated that deaths caused by climate change will reach 250,000 each year between 2030 and 2050, with Australia’s population highly vulnerable to climate extremes.

The Victorian Government is looking in to the link between health and climate change through its Healthy Homes Program, which is delivering free energy upgrades to 1,000 vulnerable Victorians with complex healthcare needs and low incomes. In an Australian first, the program will measure the health benefits that can be achieved by improving a building’s thermal performance.

The government is committed to reducing Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 20 per cent by 2020 and achieve zero net emissions by 2050.

Actions taken by the Victorian and local governments, business and individuals as part of Victoria’s TAKE2 climate change pledge program will contribute to meeting the new target.

“Climate change is a complex issue which requires a strategic approach, long-term investment and community action to combat its affects.”

—Member for Southern Metropolitan Nina Taylor

“There is more work to do in this space to increase Victorians awareness of the link between climate and health.”

—Member for Southern Metropolitan Nina Taylor

“We are committed to combating the effects of climate change by investing in new sources of energy to foster a thriving economy and healthy environment.”

—Member for Southern Metropolitan Nina Taylor

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