Professor Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). She was Director of RegNet from 2014-2019. Sharon is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.
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Mixed progress on health and climate change were the findings of the 2019 MJA-Lancet Countdown report, launched on Friday 15 November at an event hosted by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Research School of Population Health.
During the presentation of the report, members of the MJA-Lancet Countdown, stressed that although Australia has made some progress in some areas of renewable energy generation, urgent national action is required if the country is to lessen the risk of national health decline due to climate change.
“Firstly, I would like to congratulate the MJA-Lancet Countdown. This is a very important work” said Professor of Health Equity Sharon Friel,during the panel discussion that followed.
“Not only does it point to areas that action needs to be taken and some priority areas where things haven’t improved, but it is also a very important resource for holding to account the lack of action.”
Regarding opportunities to combat the climate crisis, Professor Friel underlined the importance of disrupting the global consumptagenic system, echoing the discussion during the 2019 ASSA Annual Symposium held earlier in the month.
“For example, the global industrial food system contributes about 25-30% of global greenhouse emissions, but still fails to address the fact that about two billion people are undernourished and about the same number are overweight and obese.”
“There are many opportunities for intervention across the supply chain from production, processing, manufacturing, retail, and what we as consumers choose to cook and eat.” she said.
“I would suggest, if we are concerned about this relationship between climate change and health, we have to think about the food system.”
Watch the full 2019 MJA-Lancet Countdown report presentation.