Government must commit to clean energy or risk the health of all Australians

Thursday 19th October, 2017

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has expressed concerns that the Turnbull Government’s scrapping of the Clean Energy Target (CET) will lead to an increase in carbon emissions and risk the health and well-being of the Australian population.

At last week’s Biennial National Conference in Hobart, ANMF members passed the following Resolution:

“That the 2017 Biennial National Conference requests the Federal ANMF continue to campaign about the adverse health impacts of climate change and the need to transition to zero emissions energy sources urgently to avoid dangerous and irreversible impact on the environment and health and to advocate for a meaningful and consistent renewable energy target such as Victoria’s 40% renewable target by 2025 to meet Australia’s Paris commitment to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees or well below 2 degrees.”

ANMF Assistant Federal Secretary Annie Butler said as frontline health professionals, nurses and midwives and assistants in nursing (AIN), were increasingly concerned about the health implications of climate change and global warming.

“Climate change is resulting in extreme weather events such as heatwaves, fire, floods and worsening air pollution across the globe,” Ms Butler said.

“These adverse climatic conditions continue to pose significant risk to the health and well-being of the community, particularly in those who are most vulnerable like the elderly and Indigenous people in remote and rural areas.

“As we know, energy generated from fossil fuels like coal, continue to contribute to greenhouse gas, which is why it’s shameful that the Government has capitulated to conservative, climate-change sceptics and walked away from plans to cut emissions through the CET.

“The politically motivated policy move to support coal fired power at the expense of support for renewable energy risks causing further harm to our community’s health.

“This means that Australia will now struggle to achieve its Paris targets under the new National Energy Guarantee (NEG), putting the health of all Australians further at risk. “

Ms Butler said the ANMF called on the Government to focus on a “genuine emissions reduction scheme” through the greater use of renewables.

The ANMF, with 270,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.  

ANMF media inquiries: 0411 254 390.