Australia’s largest health union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), is urging renewed action on climate change after a new report has revealed its deadly impacts across the world.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, states that “the impacts of climate change have already affected agriculture, human health, ecosystems on land and in the oceans, water supplies, and some people’s livelihoods.”
ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said the report was recognition that climate change continued to pose a significant health issue for Australia.
“As frontline healthcare professionals, nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing fully understand the health implications of climate change,” Ms Thomas said today.
“If temperatures rise, we will experience increasing hot weather, storms, floods and fires. More hot days over 35 degrees will result in heat-related illnesses, such as heat-stress and heat exhaustion, particularly in vulnerable community groups, including the elderly and Indigenous people in remote parts of the country.
“All this will result in greater pressure being placed on already stretched health and aged care services.”
Ms Thomas said the IPCC report was a “wake up call for the Federal Government and other decision-makers to take renewed action on climate change.
“As the report states, we will need to be bolder and more ambitious in adapting to climate change and its impacts,” she added.