Statement of Purpose

The Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA – referred to in this document as “the Alliance”) is an alliance of organisations and people in the health sector who wish to see the threat of climate change and ecological degradation to human health addressed through prompt policy action.

As health professionals, health providers and health consumers we are committed to action to limit further global warming.

This committment is based on the understanding that further global warming poses grave risks to human health and biodiversity and if left unchecked, threatens the future of human civilisation. As health stakeholders we recognise we have a particular responsibility to the community in advocating for public policy that will promote and protect human health.

We recognise the important role of civil society in advocating for the restoration of a safe climate. We also recognise as health leaders we have the capacity to influence our political representatives to take effective action. In taking this action we are responding to the call from the 2009 Lancet Health and Climate Change report for a public health movement that frames the threat of climate change for humankind as a health issue.

In advocating for policy action to prevent further global warming, we recognise that this must include dramatic and urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and removal of excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to restore a safe climate.

The Alliance recognises policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have the potential to bring important public health benefits. Actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can not only reduce the health risks associated with climate change and environmental harm, but can also improve health outcomes, and reduce costs through increases in physical activity, improved air quality, and improved diet. There are also strong economic, environmental, social and health benefits for countries that reduce emissions.

We recognise that, like the ecosystem, all dimensions of climate change are intrinsically linked, and that action to reduce the health risks from climate change requires action across a range of policy areas and sectors. We acknowledge the contribution and responsibility of governments, businesses, civil society, the community, and individuals in taking action to reduce climate risk.