A coalition of non-government organisations, peak bodies and academic representatives have come together to urge the NSW Government to take further action to address climate change.
The Healthy Equity Alliance, which includes the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS), has released a Climate Statement outlining seven priorities that NSW can take in response to the climate crisis.
The release of the Climate Statement comes as world leaders attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said people experiencing poverty and disadvantage will be hit the hardest by climate change and more needed to be done to mitigate the impacts.
“We know that vulnerable people will be the first affected and the hardest hit by the ravages of climate change,” Ms Quilty said.
“Vulnerable people experience more financial strain, reduced options, less power and self-determination, and fewer social connections to cope, adapt or recover.
“They are also most likely to live in higher risk climate-affected areas, and we know that climate change significantly impacts Aboriginal communities around NSW.
“This is why we are urging the NSW Government to commit to seven priorities to respond to the climate crisis.”
The Alliance is calling on the NSW Government to:
- Embed climate change impact assessment, mitigation and adaptation into all government strategic planning and budgeting processes, including at Local Health District level.
- Develop and implement a strategy to improve sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of NSW hospital and healthcare facilities.
- Enhance the capacity of the health system to protect and improve population health in the face of climate change, with specific focus on adequate supports for vulnerable groups and their carers.
- Resource the non-government health, community services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation sector to develop and implement climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
- Expand the NSW Climate Change Council to include representation on behalf of the non-government health and community services sector, health consumers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Introduce a NSW Climate Change Act that sets out a net zero emissions target by 2035, and requires the NSW Government to develop a 5 year climate change strategy and adaption action plan, and establish transparent reporting mechanisms on mitigation actions.
- Advocate at a national level for the adoption of the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia.
The Health Equity Alliance includes the following organisations:
- NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS).
- Australian Dental Association – NSW Branch.
- Family Planning NSW.
- NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association.
- Council on The Ageing (COTA) NSW.
- Health Consumers NSW.
- Women’s Health NSW.
- Mental Health Coordination Council (MHCC).
- Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (NADA).
- Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA).
To find out more about NCOSS, visit: www.ncoss.org.au
Download the Media Release Here: Health Equity Alliance Urges NSW Government to Take Further Action on Climate Change
Media contact: Nick Trainor – 0407 078 138