Media Release

Perth, Western Australia – 18 November 2015

Student doctors from Western Australia will join the People’s Climate March on  November 29th, as part of the global push for action ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on November 30.

The march is supported by organisations including the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Medical Students Association and the Climate Council. It will call upon the Australian Government to make climate change a national priority.

In a statement to the students, Professor Fiona Stanley AC FAA FASSA, said, “Those most affected by climate change will be those at the extremes of age – old people and children.  These things range from the effects of increases in air pollution and rising temperatures and it is time that Australia developed a national strategy to deal with the health effects of climate change.”

Research from the Australian Academy of Science has indicated that diseases currently limited to the Australian tropics, including dengue fever, will begin to travel south if global warming continues on its current trajectory.  The Academy of Science also found that an increase in global temperatures will lead to a rise in the number of annual deaths from heat-related illness.

UWA medical student Madeline Gardner today talked about the detrimental impact that climate change will have on human health.

“We know that human health will be severely impacted upon by climate change. This has already been seen in the Pacific Islands, one of our close neighbours.”

“Fiji is currently dealing with a re-emergence of mosquito-borne and climate-influenced infectious diseases such as typhoid, dengue fever, and leptospirosis. Australia may one day be similarly affected”

The Australian Government has stated that it aims to reduce emissions by 26-28%, by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. However, the Australian Government’s own Climate Change Authority recommends that emissions be reduced by 40 – 60% by 2030 (relative to 2000 levels). These recommendations would bring the Australian Government in line with their international agreement to limit global warming to 2C.

Medical students are concerned that the Australian Government is not taking enough action to reduce emissions and tackle climate change. They will join doctors from the Royal Australian College of Physicians and the College of General Practitioners, at the People’s Climate March at 1pm on the 29th of November at Wellington Square, Perth.

Media Contact:

Mia MacMillan

0431 330 484

[email protected]


UWA student doctors involved in the People’s Climate March

Photo by Brian Wong