IF we don’t tackle climate change as a matter of urgency, this will be the last generation of children to live longer than their parents, warns leading Australian child health researcher, paediatrician and former Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley.
The patron and former director of the Telethon Kids Institute delivered the message in Perth today, while launching a report on the impact climate change will have on children.
“I think the health effects of climate change, and particularly the health effects on children, have been grossly neglected and have not been acknowledged,” Professor Stanley said.
The Doctors for the Environment Australia report, called ‘No Time for Games – Children’s Health and Climate Change’, has called on the Federal Government to adopt a national action plan on the health effects of climate change.
“When you actually factor in the health costs of burning coal then the cost benefit ratios diminish considerably,” Professor Stanley said.
“It’s not too late to mitigate and adapt and this report is a message for political leaders that we have got to up the targets on reducing emissions, leave fossil fuels in the ground and drastically increase our use of renewable energy.”
The report’s authors and Professor Stanley said Australia must use the Paris climate change talks to reverse its lagging efforts on reducing greenhouse gases and commit to much more ambitious emissions reductions.
They said the 2020 target of a 5% reduction on 2000 levels should be boosted to 30 per cent.
“We really need to up those targets significantly, as other countries around the world are doing,” Professor Stanley said.
They said the target needed to be bolstered to 30 per cent.
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