Print

Call for strong renewable energy target to help avert the serious health risks of climate change

A Newspoll survey released today by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) shows two thirds of Australians would pay $3 a week more for their electricity to cover the cost of a strong renewable energy target.

“The future health of Australians depends to a large degree on having a healthy environment,” said AMA Public Health Committee Spokesperson, Dr Alex Markwell.

“Renewable energy is a key solution to the climate change problem and this survey shows the majority of Australians are prepared to pay for it,” she said.

The survey of 1,200 adults, conducted in September, found 64 per cent would pay an extra $3 per week on their electricity bill to help meet a renewable energy target of 25 per cent by 2020.

“If we continue to allow greenhouse emissions to increase, Australia will see more droughts and heat waves, a rise in heat related illnesses and the spread southward of the dengue transmission zone,” said ACF Executive Director Don Henry.

“In contrast, early action to reduce greenhouse pollution, including a strong mandatory renewable energy target, would have major health benefits,” he said.

ACF and the AMA are calling for all political parties to:

• Commit to a strong mandatory renewable energy target
• Improve the energy efficiency of Australian appliances, vehicles and buildings
• Ratify the Kyoto Protocol.