LEADING: On a mission to get backing for action on climate change, US President Barack Obama hikes to Alaska’s Exit Glacier this week.
LEADING: On a mission to get backing for action on climate change, US President Barack Obama hikes to Alaska’s Exit Glacier this week. Andrew Harnikap

AMA calls for urgent action by government on climate change

THE Australian Medical Association has called on the Federal Government to show leadership on tackling climate change.

Releasing the revised AMA Position Statement on Climate Change and Human Health, which was previously published in 2008, AMA president Professor Brian Owler said the paper focused on the health impacts of climate change, and the need for Australia to plan for the major impacts.

"It is the AMA's view that climate change is a significant worldwide threat to human health that requires urgent action, and that human activity has contributed to climate change," Prof Owler said.

"The evidence is clear. We cannot sit back and do nothing. There are already significant health and social effects of climate change and extreme weather events, and these effects will worsen over time if we do not take action now.

"The AMA believes that the Australian Government must show leadership on addressing climate change.

"We are urging the government to go to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December in Paris with emission reduction targets that represent Australia's fair share of global greenhouse gas emissions."

Prof Owler said the health effects of climate change included increased heat-related illness and deaths, more food and water-borne diseases, and changing patterns of diseases.


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