Australian medical body call for tackling climate change

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, July 30, 2010
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Public health problems will increase unless global governments take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Australia's peak medical body said on Thursday.

Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Andrew Pesce has urged the Australian delegation to the Copenhagen climate talks to convince world leaders to implement plans to deal with the serious threats that climate change poses to human health globally.

"Failure on the part of governments internationally to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is likely to result in significant public health problems," Pesce said in a statement, adding that human health is ultimately dependent on the health of the planet and its ecosystem.

"These health impacts will place increasing demand on the health system over time."

The AMA said in a statement that health effects of climate change include increased heat related illness and deaths, increased food and water borne diseases, and changing patterns of diseases. In addition to their impact on health infrastructure and services, extreme events such as droughts, flooding and storms could be responsible for death and disease.

"World leaders must not only discuss the causes, they must also start planning for the health effects. It is important that a global action plan on climate change and health emerges from the Copenhagen summit,"Pesce said.

The call has been issued following a report by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study, which found the past decade was the warmest on record and that the earth had been warming during the past half century.

Compiled by more than 300 scientists from 48 countries, the report said in its analysis of 10 indicators that are "clearly and directly related to surface temperatures, all tell the same story: Global warming is undeniable."

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