Friends of the Earth member group, Healthy Futures, health and climate news, to inspire you to help us work towards a healthy future.
On March 22nd Healthy Futures visited AGL’s office in Melbourne to deliver an open letter from over 200 healthcare workers and 13 health organisations calling on AGL to replace their coal fired power stations with renewable energy by 2030. We were refused entry to the building by police, and footage of this was aired on 9 News that evening. AGL, embarrassed, then contacted us to apologise and ask us for a meeting.
At the end of March AGL announced a plan to split their company into a “clean half”, and a “dirty half”, which will continue to manage all their coal fired power stations with no plan to bring forward their closure. The announcement received widespread criticism and we released a video to call them out on it. When we met with AGL they refused to talk about replacing their coal assets with renewables, saying that whatever happens after the company split will be out of their hands.
But then just two weeks ago AGL’s CEO Brett Redman announced a shock resignation, casting doubt on AGL’s own confidence and commitment to their company split plan.
With their own CEO jumping ship, AGL is more vulnerable than ever to external influence. That’s why we’ve decided to continue collecting signatures from healthcare workers, health science students and health organisations for our letter to AGL calling on them to replace coal with renewables by 2030. If you work in or study healthcare and haven’t signed already please sign our letter here and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
If you don’t work in or study health care, please consider emailing AGL using this tool created by Greenpeace instead.
Meanwhile in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, we are having conversations with health organisations and community groups about what it would take to plan a fair and healthy transition away from coal, while around Lake Macquarie in NSW we’re collaborating on a survey of local attitudes towards coal and its health impacts.
Finally, Healthy Futures supporters in Melbourne had a great social picnic on Sunday - sometimes it’s nice to relax from campaigning, make new friends and fly a kite!
Thanks to everyone who filled in our supporter survey in our last newsletter! It’s always great to hear about you, your stories and what matters to you. This helps guide and enrich our advocacy work. If you haven’t done so yet, we'd greatly appreciate it if you can take 3 minutes out of your day to complete our supporter survey.
Healthy Futures is planning a crowdfunding campaign to launch in the next few weeks and to make it the biggest and best it's been, we are bringing together a team of visionaries to help brainstorm and lead our fundraiser through the crunchtime of the end of the financial year. Our first online meeting is going to be next Wednesday 12th May at 7pm!
We're looking for businesses that are willing to be a matched donor sponsor - do you have any contacts or suggestions?
We are also looking for people to join a focus group that will contribute to ideas, digital content, social media and the making of a video! No special skills are necessary except a willingness to engage.
If you want to get involved join our WhatsApp group, or if you don’t have the app, reply to this email to express your interest!
Work with us!
We're looking for someone to work with healthcare workers to reduce pollution in the Hunter region of New South Wales. This is a flexible hours job, depending on the candidate. Duties include developing and executing campaign strategy in partnership with healthcare workers and others in the Hunter region. We prefer applicants in or near the Hunter region.
Actions you can take
- If you're a healthcare worker or health student, sign our health open letter to AGL asking them to go 100% renewable by 2030.
- If you don’t work in or study healthcare, send AGL an email using this tool created by Greenpeace instead
- If you’re in Victoria, sign a petition to the Victorian government to extend funding for the Latrobe Valley Authority to plan transition away from coal
- Take our 3 minute supporter survey to let us know what's important to you and help us plan our future work.
- Join our Fundraising Team Whatsapp Group or reply to this email to express interest in helping fundraise
- Transforming Climate Grief - practical tools, personal experience and good advice on how to deal with our fear and sadness about the impact of climate change on our world. Webinar Monday 10 May 2021 at 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM. Hosted by Australian Parents for Climate Action.
- Beyond Coal Action Webinar Monday 11 May from 6pm-7.30pm, hosted by Environment Victoria
- Climate Strikes are being organised on Friday 21 May
Recent research and news
- State governments urged to ensure clean air and just transitions for coal communities (by our very own Chanté Bock)
- Global Green and Healthy Hospitals have launched a new GGHH Connect which provides tools to support developing and implementing sustainable health care programs around the world.
- Global Road Map for Health Care Decarbonization - A navigational tool for achieving zero emissions with climate resilience and health equity
- Views of health professionals on climate change and health: a multinational survey study
- Health Emergency of Climate Change Video Series from the UK Royal Society of Medicine
- Meet some of the health professionals and organisations leading on climate action, Croakey
- How climate change could be affecting your mental health — and tips to conquer 'solastalgia'
- The Science of Climate Change Explained: Facts, Evidence and Proof. Definitive answers to the big questions. New York Times.
- How addressing climate change can also improve public health. Yale Climate Connections.
- Health workforce impacts of climate change – a new study. Croakey.
- Open letter calls for PM to take action on escalating climate health threats
- Health Professionals and the Climate Crisis: Trusted Voices, Essential Roles. World Medical & Health Policy.
Climate and health advocate
"Climate change found me in the floods caused by Cyclone Debbie in early 2017. I was already aware of issues but not very proactive. I worked in the ED for three days having been flooded in. Our patients were also flooded in and we had to improvise quite a bit. In the aftermath we saw infections, mental distress and so many other climate event related problems. What amazed me was the reluctance of people in general to make the link between climate change and more extreme weather events."
Dr Lucy Grant, Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice at Bond University, CMO at Murwillumbah Emergency Department
Do you have a story to share about why you care about climate change and its health impacts? Send it to us - we'd love to feature you in an upcoming newsletter.
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