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We are privileged to be alive at a time when we can still act to combat climate change and acting will require a transformation of systems, including transport, energy and our food systems. But there are some win-wins when it comes to addressing climate change and health. These were some of the key messages from a RegNet-ANU Climate Change Institute led symposium on climate change and health.
The symposium brought together speakers from health equity, climate science and governance in academia and civil society leaders in the areas of health, farming and water governance. Speakers included Australian author and strategic projects director with Farmers for Climate Action, Anna Rose; Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute (CCI) and Vice Chair, International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Professor Mark Howden; Director of the Southgate Institute for Health, Society & Equity, Flinders University, Professor Fran Baum; Chair of the Global Water Partnership and Honorary Professor, RegNet and CCI, Howard Bamsey; Executive Director of the Climate and Health Alliance; RegNet Fellow, Dr Christian Downie; RegNet Director, Professor Sharon Friel; Michael Moore AM; and ABC Radio National Big Ideas program host, Paul Barclay.
Image: Big Ideas Panel
Presentations given by Sharon Friel and Mark Howden set the scene for discussion around the interconnected issues of health and climate change, making it clear that urgent action on climate change is crucial, both for the planet and for our health. Fiona Armstrong and Dr Christian Downie gave insights into where the windows of opportunity lie in health-climate activism and climate governance respectively.
Image: Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute (CCI) and Vice Chair, International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Professor Mark Howden
An ABC Radio National Big Ideas panel followed the presentations with Australian author and strategic projects director with Farmers for Climate Action, Anna Rose and Chair of the Global Water Partnership, Howard Bamsey joining the panel. The Big Ideas panel was recorded for the ABC and will be linked from this page when it goes live.
The symposium concluded with the launch of Sharon Friel’s new book, Climate Change and the People’s Health by Michael Moore AM.