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Position Statement on Climate Change

The World Health Organisation (WHO) (2018) states that climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health, including clean air, safe drinking water, sufficiency of food supplies and security of shelter. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2021 notes that human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. These changes have effects such as heat related illnesses and death.

The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) believes that no action is inaction in the face of the current climate crisis. The RACMA Members through their important role as Medical Leaders and Managers commit to actively leading on climate change, in collaboration with others, to minimise impacts for current and future populations.

The RACMA Board and its Members believe we must clearly lead by example in responding to the climate change crisis. We will do this through:

Role Modelling

RACMA commits to reducing its carbon footprint in all aspects of how we conduct our business; including power usage, recycling, waste reduction, minimising travel and where travel is required using carbon offsetting where possible and moving to business practices that reduce our impact on the climate thereby moving towards a carbon neutral and renewable future.

System Leadership

Ensuring that all system decisions are made with consideration of the effects on the climate, and therefore the health and future of the people we care for. This includes system and building design, carbon offsetting and work practices that may reduce our impact on our environment, including the reduction of medical waste, and choosing wisely value-based sustainable practices.

Collaborating

We will collaborate with our colleagues in other Colleges, the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) and the Council Medical Colleges (CMC) in New Zealand, nursing, other health professions and health system managers to consider how we can work in a way to reduce our impact on the climate. We will also work with clinicians to design and plan future clinical services that will address health issues that are caused by climate change, including respiratory illnesses, allergies, and infectious diseases.

Advocate

We will advocate for those most at risk who, due to systemic inequalities, will be impacted more by climate change. We will work collaboratively with other health leaders to advocate to government and the community for a health system, practices and research that deliver health services to the community which have minimal impact on the climate. We will advocate that our Members consider the climate impact of everything they do.


Notes

World Health Organisations (2018) Fact Sheet on Climate Change and Health

IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [MassonDelmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.

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