Climate Change Minister urged to make Health Appointment

Climate Change Minister urged to make Health Appointment

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The Climate Change Minister James Shaw has been urged to make and appoint a public health expert to the Climate Change Commission. It would ensure health is improved as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions could be one of the most important public health interventions of our time, but whether or not we realise the health benefits will depend on what kind of actions we take,” said Dr Dermot Coffey, Co-convenor, OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council.

“The Climate Change Commission is preparing essential advice for the Government on how Aotearoa reduces its emissions, but they aren’t looking at health evidence or working with public health experts.”

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“We are calling on Minister Shaw and on the Climate Commission to recognise that human health is a fundamental human right, and asking that they work directly with health experts as a matter of urgency.”

OraTaiao, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, and NZ Medical Association wrote to the minister on March 17 to ask that a public health expert be appointed to the board of the Commission.

What was also asked is that a health working group gets formed as a matter of urgency.

“Health is afforded a cursory mention in the Commission’s first draft advice to the Government, but we know from the evidence and modelling studies that the health impacts of climate change will be varied and unrelenting,” said Dr George Laking, President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

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