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Health impacts key focus of new Queensland climate change strategy

The ABC’s Josh Robertson reports (11.9.18) on the release of a new state government plan for adapting to the health impacts of climate change.

‘Killer heatwaves and disease outbreaks are key threats to Queenslanders from climate change, according to a State Government-funded plan calling for tobacco-style taxes on carbon polluters.

‘The new statewide strategy to tackle climate-driven health risks argued doctors could play a role as “highly trusted” messengers about climate impacts to the community, where politicians have failed.

‘The plan, obtained by the ABC ahead of its launch today by Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles, revealed the health sector regarded a lack of political support – including mixed messages from the Government’s own pro-coal and gas development decisions – as the key barrier to adapting to climate change.

‘The Human Health and Wellbeing Climate Change Adaptation Plan, part of the State Government’s strategy to cut net carbon emission to zero by 2050, urged top bureaucrats and executives to factor in health impacts when assessing mining, energy and waste projects.

‘The plan, developed by Griffith University’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) and the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), found heat stress among children and the elderly was the health sector’s main concern for the future.

‘It said the Government should consider “redirection of subsidies that support activities harmful to health and climate stability, and application of levies or taxes on external drivers”.’

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